Baltimore, MD, Sept. 8, 2015 -- Geroprotectors are interventions that aim to prevent, slow, or reverse the processes of aging in model organisms or humans such that the lifespan, and especially the healthy lifespan, can be extended. They can target any one of many pathways and gene networks involved in aging. However, because this is new territory for medical science geroprotectors and their effects remain largely uncatalogued.
Insilico Medicine, a company specializing in drug repurposing in cancer and bioinformatics of aging based at the Emerging Technology Centers at the Johns Hopkins University contributed to the development of Geroprotectors.org. This web-based knowledge management system is billed as a structured and curated database of therapeutic interventions in aging and age related diseases.
"The motivation behind creation of Geroprotectors database was to provide a one-stop resource for researchers interested in anti-aging compounds, saving countless hours of data mining, literature review and expert analysis. It took us several years of careful literature mining and discussions with industry experts to create this database," said Alexey Moskalev, lead author of the paper, head of laboratory of molecular radiobiology and gerontology, IBKSCUB RAS and adjunct professor at George Mason University and a scientific advisor to Insilico Medicine.
The database does more than simply list geroprotectors, it catalogs over 250 experiments involving over 200 known or candidate geroprotectors. Each compound has a comprehensive profile complete with biochemistry, mechanisms, and lifespan effects in various model organisms with information ranging from chemical structure, side effects, and toxicity to FDA drug status. It also links back to the original research, making it possible for gerontologists to collaborate more quickly and efficiently than they ever could before.
"Geroprotectors is one of the timeliest and exciting areas of biomedical research since these have the potential to impact on multiple age-related maladies. By compiling what is known about this topic, Geroprotectors.org will be a great asset for researchers and even clinicians to ultimately allow people to benefit from recent discoveries in manipulating the aging process", said de Magalhaes, who heads the Integrative Genomics of Ageing Group, Institute of Integrative Biology at the University of Liverpool and is a trustee of the Biogerontology Research Foundation
The use of Geroprotectors is one of the frontiers of medical science, and as databases like this come into shape scientists can better understand how to plan their experiments and apply them in practice. One peculiar detail about Geroprotectors.org is that it does not limit the compounds to only those applicable to humans. Some of the compounds listed in the database that extended lifespans of model organisms are poisons and may be toxic to humans and are highlighted as such in the system. Caution is advised when using this resource to plan human experiments.
Geroprotectors.org is bringing together isolated research into a comprehensive body of work that can lead to further breakthroughs down the line.