, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 17–31 | Cite as

Amino acids and amino acid sensing: implication for aging and diseases

  • Serena Dato
  • Eneida Hoxha
  • Paolina Crocco
  • Francesca Iannone
  • Giuseppe Passarino
  • Giuseppina Rose
Research Article


Biogerontological research indicates nutrition as one of the major determinants of healthy aging, due to the role of nutrients in maintaining the dynamic-homeostasis of the organism. In this frame, the importance of proteins and constitutive amino acids (AAs), and in particular of functional AAs is emerging. The ability to sense and respond to changes in AAs availability is mediated by a complex network of dynamic players, crucial for an efficient regulation of their downstream effects. Here, we reviewed the current knowledge about the involvement of AA sensing mechanisms in aging and age-related diseases, focusing our attention on mTORC1 and AA transporters. In this context it is of note that alterations in AA sensors have been reported to be directly implicated in age-related phenotypes, suggesting that their modulation can represent a possible strategy for modulating (and possibly delaying) aging decline. Furthermore, these alterations may influence the effects of AA supplementation, by influencing the individual answer to AA availability. On the whole, evidences support the hypothesis that the efficiency of components of AA sensing network may have important implications for therapy, and their knowledge may be crucial for programming AA supplementation for contrasting age-related phenotypes, opening new opportunities for therapeutic interventions aimed to promote human health span.


Amino acid availability Amino acid sensing Amino acid transporters mTORC1 pathway Aging and age-related diseases Amino acid supplementation 



The work has been made possible by the collaboration with the nursing homes of Sadel Spa, Sadel San Teodoro srl, Sadel CS srl, Casa di Cura Madonna dello Scoglio, AGI srl, Casa di Cura Villa del Rosario srl, Savelli Hospital srl, Casa di Cura Villa Ermelinda, in the frame of the agreement “SOLUZIONI INNOVATIVE PER L’INNALZAMENTO DELLA SALUTE E DELLA SICUREZZA DELLA POPOLAZIONE” with the University of Calabria.


This study was supported by grants from the Italian Ministry of University and Research (PRIN: Progetti di Ricerca di rilevante Interesse Nazionale – 2015, Prot. 20157ATSLF) to GR.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Dato, S., Hohxa, E., Crocco, P., Iannone, F., Passarino, G. and Rose, G., declare no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth SciencesUniversity of CalabriaRendeItaly

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