While researching the genetics behind cutis laxa, a connective tissue disorder that causes skin to be inelastic and look prematurely aged, Canadian scientists may have unearthed an essential clue to the workings of genetic aging.
In an article published in The American Journal of Human Genetics, the Atlantic Medical Genetic and Genomics Initiative researchers claim to have found one of the primary genes to blame for the appearance of aging skin, PYCR1. This gene halts the metabolism of the amino acid proline, which is an essential component of collagen and elastin.
Although researchers have yet to fully understand how proline works, the discovery of a gene that interrupts its process in those with cutis laxa suggests that proline plays a significant role in the aging process.
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