Scientists used comparative proteomic techniques to identify aging-related brain proteins in normal mice from neonate to old age.
By 2-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) and peptide mass fingerprint (PMF) analysis, 39 proteins were identified, among which 6 stayed unchanged since 3 months, 6 increased and 27 decreased in various manners during aging.
The proteins are mainly involved in processes usually with destructive changes during aging, such as metabolism, transport, signaling, stress response and apoptosis.
The 27 proteins' decrease may be responsible for brain aging.
In particular, decrease of proteasome alpha subunits 3/6, ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal esterase L3, valosin-containing protein and calreticulin may be responsible for the declination of protein quality control; glutamate dehydrogenase 1, isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and ubiquinol cytochrome c reductase core protein 2 for the shortage of energy and reducing agent; ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2N and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2/B1 for the increase of DNA damage and transcription detuning; calbindin 1 and amphiphysin for the disturbance of synaptic transport and ion signals.
The six proteins' increase may be involved in anti-aging processes.
In particular, transketolase, mitochondrial creatine kinase 1 and ribosomal protein L37 may help to enhance energy metabolism; triosephosphate isomerase 1 may help to resist oxidative stress.
Moreover, most of these proteins were found for the first time to be involved in the natural senescence of brain, which would provide new clues about the mechanism of brain aging.