Clotho, in Greek mythology, is a goddess who spins the thread of life and represents human life. This is where the the gene“Klotho” gets its name. And its fitting… because it is a gene that was originally identified as one that extends life. When disrupted from functioning, the Klotho gene was shown to induce premature aging in humans.
The expression of this gene (mainly in the kidneys) results in the production of Klotho protein, which protects our vascular system (arteries and veins) from mineral deposits. Such deposits are harmful because they lead to what is known as “calcification” of our vascular system, a major reason for death in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD.
Therefore, not only is this particular gene an early biomarker for CKD, but also a protectant against CKD. And research has shown that a novel therapeutic agent, a protein called Intermedin, can help Klotho spin the thread of life by combating the ill effects of CKD.