Alterations in the levels and behaviors of splicing factors have gained more attention of late in the study of aging, particularly in the context of the increased numbers of senescent cells present in aged tissues. Researchers here report on an exploration of some of the connections that exist between splicing factors, cellular senescence, and a number of proteins already known to undergo age-associated changes in their gene expression.
Aging is at root the consequence of numerous forms of molecular damage, but every tissue is a dynamic system in which any given change leads to countless chains of consequences: altered signaling, altered mechanisms, a complex dance of interlocking feedback loops. Tracing these paths is an enormous task, and building a full map is far beyond the present capacity of the research community. It will require decades to make even modest inroads into thin slices of cellular biochemistry – just look at the history of sirtuin research for an example of such a lengthy and narrowly focused research effort.
Waiting for full understanding before taking action is not the right strategy in the matter of aging.