• Scientists from the University of Oviedo has discovered a therapy able to block progeria

    October 27, 2011

    This study, led by Carlos López Otín, has been published in «Science Translational Medicine» and it means a significant step in the struggle against premature aging.

    A group of researchers managed by the professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Oviedo, Carlos López-Otín, has found out a treatment able to block the genetic defect which causes Hutchinson-Gilford progeria. The results of this study have been published in the Science Translational Medicine magazine and they represent a major breakthrough in the fight against this rare disease.

    Hutchison-Gilford syndrome affects one in four million of people and it produces an accelerate aging during the infancy, which strongly harms bones, cardiovascular system and even life expectancy.

    Progeria is caused by a mutation in the LMNA gene whose effect is the abnormal production of progerine, a toxic protein for the body, which is also produced in small quantities during normal aging. Those researchers in charge of the study have developed a treatment which blocks progerine's synthesis. Through the "terapia antisentido" (antisense therapy), they treated a strain of mice genetically modified to undergo this disease and which also presented the syndrome's main symptoms. This therapy improved all the symptoms and the mice's life expectancy was almost doubled.

    The results of this study, performed by scientists from the Oncology Institute of the University of Oviedo, the National Centre of Cardiovascular Researches and the Asturian Institute of Dentistry from the University of Marsella, are the first step in the development of future clinical trials in patients who are affected by the Hutchinson-Gilford progeria.