In spite of enormous efforts and accumulated knowledge, our capabilities for tackling aging and age-related diseases (ARDs), and ultimately to promote longevity are still very modest. What is lacking -- essential data on key players, efficient analytic tools, or both? Here we discuss how the existing data may be integrated and analyzed in the context of miRNA-regulated protein-protein interaction networks. The proposed model highlighted (i) the strong molecular links between aging, longevity, and ARDs; (ii) the possibility and even the preferability of initiating longevity-promoting interventions in adult life; (iii) the potentially important role for miRNA (or siRNA) mediated targeting of some essential longevity-associated genes; (iv) the superiority of multi-target therapy to the common single-target approach in curing ARDs and promoting longevity.
A gradual decrease in the network robustness along with an increased fragility of individual nodes are proposed as being the common mechanisms of both aging and ARDs.
This work was supported by the European Union FP7 Health Research Grant number HEALTH-F4-2008-202047