Rapamycin may increase lifespan by inhibiting Pol III

New genes found that have an impact to increase human lifespan by inhibiting two RNA polymerase enzymes (Pols), namely Pol I and Pol III1.

The findings add to the evidence that drugs such as rapamycin, an immune regulator which acts to inhibit Pol III, may be helpful to promote healthy lifespan1.


Since rapamycin is a drug, there must be a natural alternative that can reproduce similar effects.


What is rapamycin?


Rapamycin was initially discovered as an antifungal metabolite produced by Streptomyces hygroscopicus from a soil sample of Easter Island (also known as Rapa Nui). Subsequently, rapamycin was found to possess immunosuppressive and anti-proliferative properties in mammalian cells2


Rapamycin in an inhibitor of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). This has been shown to be useful in treating certain diseases2:

  • cancer,
  • diabetes,
  • tuberous sclerosis complex,
  • lymphangioleiomyomatosis,
  • neurodegenerative diseases, and
  • aging

Effects on longevity and cancers

Although it has been shown that rapamycin helps with tumor regression, once stopped the tumor regrows2 3. Though in the case that one is already using the drug as an immunosuppressant, because of organ transplatation4, the latter case can be ignored.

To be continued...


  1. Mendelian randomization analyses implicate biogenesis of translation machinery in human aging, 2021, Source ↩︎ ↩︎

  2. Rapamycin: one drug, many effects, 2014, Source ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  3. Rapamycin for longevity: opinion article, 2019, Source ↩︎

  4. Rapamycin in transplantation: a review of the evidence, 2001, Source ↩︎