Investigating the Role of a Novel Mitochondria-encoded Peptide

2013 new Scholar Award in aging

Dietary restriction and the modulation of nutrient-sensing pathways are robust and reproducible interventions that extend life/healthspan in model organisms. Accordingly, the mitochondrion, being the single most important metabolic organelle, receives much attention as a major contributor to aging and its related diseases. However, the role of mitochondria in regulating life/healthspan has been largely unclear until recently when a paradigm-shifting opportunity came with the discovery of humanin, a peptide encoded within the mitochondrial genome. Humanin may be a harbinger of what is currently referred to as mitochondrial-derived peptides (MDPs), which represent a novel mechanism and concept of mitochondrial regulation of critical cellular and organismal processes.

Changhan Lee Ph.D.
Southern California, University of