Moderation: A. Simm, Halle (Saale); L.-O. Klotz, Jena
Ageing leads to impairment of tissue homeostasis and functional decline of organs and represents a major risk factor for prevalent diseases such as cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration in developed countries. To devise therapies aimed at improving the health state of the elderly, a detailed knowledge of molecular mechanisms leading to the impairment of organ function with increasing age is essential. There is accumulating evidence that posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of proteins contribute to this decline.
PTMs occur either enzymatically catalyzed or non-enzymatically, with both types often targeting the same amino acid. Under physiological conditions enzymatic PTMs regulate protein activities, thereby controlling shape and function of cells. However, due to alterations of modifying enzymes or because of an altered cellular environment in aged organisms, PTM patterns may change, and, moreover, non-enzymatic modifications, such as oxidation or glycation, may compete with enzymatically regulated processes, such as acetylation and glycosylation. As a consequence, dysregulation of cellular processes occurs. The session will focus on such PTMs and their role in aging.