Naked mole rats have what any animal would want. They live long lives—about 30 years—and stay healthy until the very end. Now biologists at the University of Rochester have new insights into the animal’s longevity—better-constructed proteins.
Proteins are involved in nearly all functions of an animal cell, and consequently, are essential to all organisms. But before proteins can do their job, they must fold into the appropriate shapes that allow them to connect to and interact with other structures in the cell. In a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vera Gorbunova and Andrei Seluanov describe their discovery of the process in naked mole rats that leads to virtually perfect proteins.
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