Klotho, Spinning the Thread of Life: an Anti-Ageing Gene

  • Antonis S Manolis Evagelismos General Hospital, Athens
Keywords: klotho gene, anti-ageing gene, longevity, premature ageing, renal disease, cardiovascular disease


Klotho, named after the ancient Greek goddess Klotho, the spinner (of life), is an aging suppressor or longevity-related gene, discovered in 1997. A defect in the Klotho gene expression in mice leads to phenotypes resembling human premature or accelerated aging syndromes, with a short lifespan, infertility, arteriosclerosis, skin atrophy, osteoporosis and emphysema, while Klotho overexpression is associated with extended longevity. The Klotho gene encodes a transmembrane protein expressed mainly in the kidney, the parathyroid gland and the choroid plexus. The Klotho protein has multiple regulating functions, can serve as a useful biomarker and may have potential therapeutic applications, and thus an emerging role in reno-cardio-vascular disease, which is briefly explored in this overview.

Author Biography

Antonis S Manolis, Evagelismos General Hospital, Athens
Specialty: Cardiology