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Curr Drug Targets. 2006 Nov;7(11):1479-83.

The pharmacology of ageing in Drosophila.

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  • 1Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of California, Irvine, California 92697, USA. mjafari@uci.edu


Recent research indicates that aging is affected by many genes and thus many biochemical pathways. This has led to a failure to find pharmaceuticals that significantly ameliorate the human aging process. Progress in evolutionary and genetic research, however, suggests the possibility of combining experimental evolution, genomic analysis, and mass screening of pharmaceuticals and botanicals to produce effective therapeutics for human aging. The starting point for this strategy is model systems that have outbred populations with substantially increased lifespan. These are easily produced by tuning the force of natural selection in the laboratory. Such biological material is then a good candidate for genomic analysis, leading to the identification of numerous biochemical pathways involved in increased lifespan, in the model system. These biochemical pathways would then be available for pharmaceutical development, first in fruit flies, then in rodents, and eventually in a clinical human population. We include a discussion of the pharmacological methods appropriate to this strategy of drug discovery.

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