Protein oxidation in aging

A comprehensive review of protein oxidation during aging, ranging from the causes through the effects to possible methods of slowing the process down, from Chakravarti and Chakravarti:

… Based on a wide variety of studies performed in humans as well as in various animal models and microbial systems, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are believed to play a key role in the aging process. The production of ROS is influenced by cellular metabolic activities as well as environmental factors. ROS can react with all major biological macromolecules such as carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. Since, in general, proteins are the key molecules that play the ultimate role in various structural and functional aspects of living organisms, this review will focus on the age-related oxidative modifications of proteins as well as on mechanism for removal or repair of the oxidized proteins. The topics covered include protein oxidation as a marker of oxidative stress, experimental evidence indicating the role of ROS in protein oxidation, protein carbonyl content, enzymatic degradation of oxidized proteins, and effects of caloric restriction on protein oxidation in the context of aging. Finally, we will discuss different strategies which have been or can be undertaken to slow down the oxidative damage of proteins and the aging process.

I mention it not because of any novelty but because it’s a good collection of a lot of facts and references across a broad topic, conveniently gathered in one place. It’s a great starting point for anyone starting to think about the subject.



  1. Greetings,

    I’m a health enthusiast with no formal background in science or biology -rather than a collector of topics over the years.

    I understand that protein oxidation *speeds* the aging process, and that there are means to prevent this process to age at a “normal” rate -which, as I understand it, is determined by our DNA giving cells a limited number of times they can regenerate.

    First, I’m curious if this is a proper general understanding, which I’d like clarifying if innaccuate.

    Second, I’ve heard hype about “anti-aging”, and am curious if this term simply means reversing accelerated degeneration to return to homeostasis and the normal “aging rate”, or if it actually means one can literally *stop aging* or *become even younger*?

  2. Welcome, James.

    It is widely thought that protein oxidation is an important component of the aging process; you can read more about recent findings in that field here.

    Most cells can divide only a limited number of times before entering a state called senescence, and this limit is imposed by structures at the ends of chromosomes, called telomeres.

    It is not clear whether protein oxidation plays a role in setting the telomere clock, however.

    “Anti-aging” means different things to different people. For some, it means ways to retard the aging process; for others, it refers to strategies under development to arrest or even reverse the process. For now, reseach is ongoing on both fronts. Where it will eventually lead, and how quickly, no one knows at this point.

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