Genetics plays an incredibly important role in the growth and development of all living things. Reproduction, maturation, and internal bodily processes are regulated closely by genetic programs. Advantageous programs are preserved throughout Evolution. Unfortunately, after organisms reach their reproductive peak, the functionality of internal bodily processes begins to decline. This decline, which is usually called aging, continues until life ends.
One of the significant questions that has puzzled the scientific community for many years is whether the later stages of life are genetically programmed or unfold at random. Recently, a study took place taking a look at mutant mice. These mutant mice were genetically altered to have relatively short life spans due to mutations in the Klotho protein. Mutations in the Klotho gene led to the development of premature disorders that resembled accelerated aging.
The researchers determined that the Klotho gene was responsible for many of the mutant phenotypes that developed in these mice. As an example, researchers discovered that the gene responsible for the Klotho protein is responsible for a specific cell membrane protein that was mutated during the experiment.
Based on the results of the experiment, researchers determined that the Klotho protein is a critical regulator of calcium homeostasis. Calcium plays a critical role in countless body processes, including the heartbeat, bone structure, and various hormone levels. In addition, researchers discovered that the same protein plays an important role in the growth and development of a specific fibroblast growth factor receptor. Researchers also uncovered that the Klotho protein plays a significant role in Parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion, which is responsible for regulating calcium and phosphorus in the bloodstream.
Clearly, there are a lot of rules that are dependent on the production of the Klotho protein. Even though it has been known for many years that this protein plays a critical role in growth, development, and aging, the results of this experiment indicate that the impacts of the protein on internal body processes are multifactorial. Researchers have discovered a lot of valuable information regarding the protein, but it is obvious that more experiments are required to completely elucidate the numerous roles that the Klotho protein plays throughout the body.