Sinclair et al. using the eye as a model CNS tissue, showed that ectopic expression of Oct4, Sox2 and Klf4 genes in mouse retinal ganglion cells restores youthful DNA methylation patterns and transcriptomes, promotes axon regeneration after injury, and reverses vision loss in a mouse model of glaucoma and in aged mice. The beneficial effects of OSK-induced reprogramming in axon regeneration and vision require the DNA demethylases TET1 and TET2.
TET enzymes are iron and 2-oxoglutarate dependent dioxyegenases. Fixing TET enzymes could be a key part of the treatment of a range of chronic illness and would be a lot simpler and safer than systematic ectopic expression of OCT4, KLF4 and SOX2 in humans. A lot of methylation changes acquired during aging must be beneficial. Systematically turning back the clock to 18 or so would not be desirable .’Just’ fixing TET enzymes would allow desirable methylations to occur but would allow DNA demethylations of undesirable DNA methyations. Clearly fixing TET enzymes would be a required first step prior to any genetic engineering of humans to restore youthfulness given that such genetic engineering was feasible and desirable.
Research indicates that 2-oxoglutarate by affecting TET and Jmjc domain-containing proteins can have epigenetic effects reversing epigenetic changes arising from dysregulation of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. The TCA cycle synthesizes 2-oxoglutarate.
I have been stressing in this blog that with a dysregulation of iron-sulfur cluster formation there is a dysregulation of aconitase which is an iron-sulfur protein early in the TCA cycle With aconitase dysregulated the TCA cycle is dysregulated. Another enzyme in the TCA cycle, succinate dehydrogenase, also has iron-sulfur clusters.
Could deleterious epigenetic changes in humans, due to dysregulation of the TCA cycle, be reversed by supplemental alpha-ketoglutarate? That has not yet been established.
2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases are involved in aging, 2-oxoglutarate could be a longevity supplement. A rule of thumb in regards to longevity supplements is never take a longevity supplement for longevity that does not have immediate positive benefits as absent immediate positive benefits knowing whether one is going in the correct direction is unknowable . If 2-oxoglutarate proves to be useful in the treatment of various neurological illnesses but also increases longevity so much the better.
There are infectious diseases subdivided into bacterial and viral diseases, there is cancer where there are many sorts of cancer, there is heart disease, lung disorders etc. There could be a new disease class. There could be epigenetic disorders where there is common origin for a wide range of epigenetic disorders. With epigenetic mechanisms dysregulated many different diseases can arise as there are many different ways genes and histones can become inappropriately methylated. My idea is that a dysregulation of aconitase 1 can dysregulate iron metabolism and decrease 2-oxogularate synthesis which will in turn dysregulate TET enzymes, which demethylate DNA, and dysregulate Jumonji domain-containing proteins, which demethylate histones. Dysregulation of TET enzymes and dysregulation of Jumonji domain-containing proteins can play out many different ways in terms of inappropriate DNA methylation and inappropriate histone methylation whereby many different diseases can arise. Though many different diseases can arise from dysregulations of aconitase 1, iron metabolism and 2-oxoglutarate synthesis prevention of a range of illnesses could be achieved by the same treatment. For example, a treatment than prevents schizophrenia could also prevent Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The Treatment presented in the Treatment section is not ready for home use, however, a Moon shot would not be necessary to get the treatment to a state where family doctors could prescribe a treatment which would prevent a range of chronic illnesses from schizophrenia, to Alzheimer’s disease, to Parkinson’s disease. What is needed is a launch ten weather balloons into the high atmosphere then collect and analyze data kind of effort.