Researchers have been working to uncover proteins that play a role in aging. For the past three decades, one of the proteins that has been closely studied is the Klotho protein. This protein plays an important role in the metabolism of ions throughout the body, including phosphate, and the Klotho protein impacts numerous organ systems, including the kidneys. In particular, the protein plays a role in vitamin D metabolism.
Even though there is still a lot of research ongoing, professionals believe that the link between the Klotho protein and phosphate dictates the role the protein plays in the aging process. Research has shown that mammals develop phosphate toxicity as they get older. Therefore, phosphate toxicity and Klotho protein levels correlate closely with increasing age. What this means is that there are a lot of medical professionals who are targeting Klotho activity as a potential therapeutic target for anti-aging activity.
When mammals have a deficiency in Klotho protein levels, there are numerous problems they might develop. For example, when protein levels drop, mammals could develop medial calcification. This impacts tissue function, leading to possible medical complications. Furthermore, tissue replication and blood vessel flexibility drops, meaning that the arteries and veins become stiff. This can lead to high blood pressure, which might cause a variety of problems.
In particular, Klotho protein has been implicated in chronic kidney disease, usually shortened to CKD. The kidneys are responsible for removing toxins from the body. Kidneys also play a role in the regulation of blood pressure. Therefore, there is a close relationship between levels of the Klotho protein, the overall health of the kidneys, and blood pressure levels. Researchers have also shown that mammals with lower levels of the Klotho protein live shorter lives, develop vitamin D problems, have issues regulating calcium, and experience derangements of phosphate levels. These problems can impact multiple organ systems throughout the body.
Right now, there is still a lot of research ongoing regarding the relationship between aging and the Klotho protein. As more research is done, professionals might be able to develop therapeutic targets for drugs in the future. This could play a major role in the treatment of kidney and metabolic disorders while also creating opportunities to impact the aging process. It will be exciting to see what new information is uncovered moving forward.