Methusalem proteins in the brain

You are what you eat. During medical school, I spent a year in Lexington, Kentuck,y as an exchange student. When I went out for lunch with some of my classmates one day, the discussion came up what percentage of my total body protein would be European versus American after one year. It turns out that most proteins have a high turnover rate and are constantly rebuilt and removed. This makes sense as proteins do not have dedicated repair mechanisms as does DNA. However, some proteins seem to linger. A recent study in Cell now identifies long-lived proteins in the brain.  And it appears that the gatekeepers of the neuronal nucleus are pretty much built to last forever, and dysfunction of these proteins may contribute to neurological diseases. Continue reading