Smoking Stops Cell Growth Via Aging Protein

-- A. Agrawal, PhD

Monday, February 9, 2009

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Cigarette smoke stops cell growth and impairs cell migration via a protein involved in premature aging, according to research published in the Feb. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Toru Nyunoya, M.D., from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues investigated the effect of cigarette smoke on the Werner's syndrome protein, both of which are associated with accelerated aging, using cells from patients with emphysema and age-matched non-smokers.

The researchers found that lung fibroblasts from patients with emphysema were senescent and had lower levels of the Werner's syndrome protein. Exposing fibroblasts and epithelial cells from non-smokers to cigarette smoke led to lower levels of the Werner's syndrome protein. Cigarette smoke induced senescence and impaired cell migration to a greater degree in fibroblasts deficient in the Werner's syndrome protein, while overexpression of the Werner's syndrome protein attenuated the effect of cigarette smoke, the authors report.

"Cigarette smoke induces cellular senescence and cell migration impairment via Werner's syndrome protein down-regulation," Nyunoya and colleagues conclude. "Rescue of Werner's syndrome protein down-regulation may represent a potential therapeutic target for smoking-related diseases."

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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