A Proposed Theory: The Relationship Between Aging and DNA Misrepair
Aging is controlled by the aggregation of damage and how genes are regulated. Many misrepairs in healthy human tissue can result in aging. The "damage accumulation theory" once proposed says that aging is cause by faults that occur at a miniscule, cellular level. The newer theory of "misrepair-accumulation theory" takes into account DNA repair, damage done by the environment, the regulation of genes, and the process of aging. The older theory doesn't tell us what exactly these faults are and cannot explain different types of aging processes. Misrepair of DNA can adjust its structure during reconstruction and can cause loss of the region's function. Damage is said to be a flaw before repair takes places whereas misrepair is when incorrect reparation occurs. In the process of aging, damage causes aging while misrepair is a result. When there is unrepairable damage that happens to tissue, it is likely to result in misrepair. When something is misrepaired, it cannot return to its original state and results in a scar. The misrepair, not the damage, accumulates. Damage can cause aging as it can yield increase levels of misrepair. As the misrepairs accumulate, the structure is changed and the effectiveness of the function is decreased. Aging is caused by reparation and cannot happen without it. Aging is evolutionarily favorable and needed for organisms to survive.
Misrepair may induce survival of the organism instead of death and the price to pay is aging. Tissue that consists of more misrepairs have a decreased ability to repair and have loss of certain function, thus resulting in the tissue being more prone to damage and the likelihood of more misrepairs increases. Aging can take place at the cellular, molecular, or tissue level. If aging happens to the tissue, it could mean that the cellular function is also affected. If there is a flaw in the tissue, two scenarios can result: if the tissue regenerates, the flawed cells can be replaced, but if the tissue is unable to regenerate, the cells are flawed and their spatial relationship to one another is impacted negatively.
Changing the relationships between cells can result in loss of function of the tissue as well. Aging isn't something that just occurs when one is in old age, but rather, a process that occurs over a long period. Aged cells can be found in old tissue that can regenerate because it is difficult to replace these cells due to their decreased ability to repair themselves. Examples of misrepair include Mallory body, particles that are pigmented, and change in fat. These misrepairs aren't destroyed, but rather, moved away from the cell to reduce the toxic environment that may result. The cell that is aging can be swapped with a new cell, isolated to prevent toxicity, or can result in a tumor cell if there are significant mutations in the DNA.
Tumors related to aging are caused by mutations when many DNA misrepairs occur, with results in cells growing too much, tissue becoming unorganized, and could result in cell death. DNA misrepair is used in radiation. Organisms without complex DNA may not have as much cancer because they don't gather as many misrepairs in their DNA. Wrinkles form and result when elastic components of the body are replaced by collagen; the elastic fibers keep breaking and misrepairs replace them with collagen (misrepair replaces them with shorter collagen when the original collagen breaks again). The misrepair accumulation can result in different sized collagen stands and can result in aging and wrinkles.
Early aging is the result of "misconstruction (imperfect construction) and misreconstruction (misrepair) of tissue/body." Because of these processes, premature aging can result because of mutations in genes. The mutations and irregular tissue do not allow for regular repair mechanisms to occur. This results in much more misrepair early on. The best and most probable way to delay aging and disease that are related to aging is to reduce the amount of exposure to environmental damage. Repeated damage results in chronic inflammation, which can yield much misrepair.
Improving the environmental condition of a healthy living environment, access to medical care, healthy nutrition, and regular sleeping habits can improve good repair mechanisms. Take note that without misrepair and aging, we could have already died very young because misrepair and aging help us live – after all, it improves chances of survival and is an evolutionary plus.