Mutation in mTOR Gene Increases Life Expectancy

Modifying the expression of a single gene in rats can increase life expectancy by 20 percent that have been identified by some researchers that published their work in a journal Cell reports. Scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) performed research on mice, which engaged focusing on a gene known as mTOR. The gene is related to the balance of energy and metabolism, and the scientists now think it may be connected to enhance life expectancy related with caloric restriction.


The mice were engineered to generate the level of the mTOR protein by 25 percent lower than the regular quantity, or the minimal quantity required to survive. The scientists state that although the engineered mice were smaller in size in comparison with control mice, they showed up to be normal. Discovery in this research revealed that the average life expectancy for the mice with decreased mTOR was 28 months for males and 31.5 months for females, in comparison with 22.9 months for regular male mice, and 26.5 months for regular female mice.

This improvement is equivalent of increase in the average human life expectancy by 16 years; from 79 to 95.The mTOR mice also demonstrated the best overall lifespan, with 7 out of 8 of the longest survivors being mTOR mice.  In addition, the mice demonstrated considerable improvements in specific organs and better storage of memory and co-ordination when performing maze and balance assessments. The scientists add that the mTOR mice also retained more muscle, posture and strength. The research also exposed that the mTOR mice had a higher loss of bone volume and were more susceptible to infection as they got older, which indicates their immune function may have reduced.

Toren Finkel of the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and head investigator of the research states that, however, modified the gene expression is, it did not impact all mice in a similar way: “While the high expansion in life expectancy is noteworthy, this research reinforces an significant aspect of aging, it is not consistent.