As we age, RNA fragments accumulate in certain brain cells, and reduce the production of proteins
RNA fragments accumulate in brain cells during aging and could interfere with brain cell function - brain short science news

Neuroscientists have found that damage to aging neurons caused by oxidative stress produces a surprising pileup of short RNA fragments. These fragments bind to ribosomes, the protein factories of the cell, so that the cells will decrease protein production.

This phenomenon was found in discrete brain regions (frontal cortex and striatum) and for about 400 genes with a wide variety of functions. Also, some brain cell types were more affected than others.

While it is presently unknown what the precise functional consequences are for brain cell function, the RNA fragments can be considered to be a hallmark of aging, in mice and humans alike.

Read the full story: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Scientific publication: Cell Reports

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