'Little nuclei' confirm that bigger is not always better
The nucleolus, or little nucleus inside the cell's nucleus, was first formally described in the 1830s. It took more than a century for scientists to discover that it is the site of ribosome production, and almost another half-century to realise it has other equally far-reaching roles. It is the site of signal recognition particle synthesis, a regulatory zone for cell-cycle progression mediators and other functions yet to be discovered. The EU-funded NUAGE project has found a relationship between nucleolar size and longevity, with small nucleoli corresponding to longer life in diverse species. Smaller is better for human metabolism as well. High-tech methods in several animal models could elucidate conserved molecular mechanisms with implications for metabolic health and lifespan.
Funding SchemeERC-ADG - Advanced Grant
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