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Long-Lived Bats Show Less Protein Damage

Bats generally live far longer than would be predicted by their size. Scientists have now shown that the relatively long life spans of some bat species, compared to the much shorter life spans of similarly sized mice, may owe to lower levels of protein oxidation and less misfolding of proteins in the bats. In addition, the researchers found that the bats had low levels of protein ubiquitination and reduced proteasome activity, suggesting diminished protein damage and removal in bats. Based on these results, the scientists concluded that long life span in some bat species may be regulated by very efficient maintenance of protein homeostasis. This work was featured as the cover story in the July issue of the FASEB Journal. [Press release] [FASEB abstract]