Why Naked Mole Rats Live for 30 Years


rap1aproteinWell-built proteins might contribute to the long and healthy lives of naked mole rats. Proteins are a part of most functions in animal cells, but first need to fold correctly to allow them to do their jobs.

A new study from the University of Rochester shows that naked mole rats create close to perfect proteins. Researchers stumbled upon the discovery while working on ribosomes and their RNA. They observed that naked mole rat rRNA creates additional breaks prior to folding in order to promote improved protein folding and thus improved function.

As a result, these better-quality proteins are 40 times less likely to contain random mistakes than those in mouse cells. Proteins made with no mistakes help cells and the body to function more efficiently, making this discovery potentially very important for improved protein creation in humans.

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