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Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2000 Jan;3(1):39-44.

The effect of age on protein metabolism.

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Endocrinology Research Unit, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.


The mechanisms of senescence remain to be fully defined. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of body protein turnover, which is essential for the remodeling of tissues and production of specific proteins in time of need. Recent advances in technology make it possible to measure the synthesis rate of muscle myosin heavy chain, mitochondrial proteins and sarcoplasmic proteins, providing insight into the mechanisms of the sarcopenia of aging. A reduced synthesis rate of myosin heavy chain and mitochondrial protein may explain muscle weakness and fatiguability that occurs with aging. Aging also seems to affect selected liver proteins such as fibrinogen. The potential roles of exercise and hormone replacement in slowing the age-related decline in protein turnover is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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