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