RNAi screening implicates a SKN-1-dependent transcriptional response in stress resistance and longevity deriving from translation inhibition.
ABSTRACT: Caenorhabditis elegans SKN-1 (ortholog of mammalian Nrf1/2/3) is critical for oxidative stress resistance and promotes longevity under reduced insulin/IGF-1-like signaling (IIS), dietary restriction (DR), and normal conditions. SKN-1 inducibly activates genes involved in detoxification, protein homeostasis, and other functions in response to stress. Here we used genome-scale RNA interference (RNAi) screening to identify mechanisms that prevent inappropriate SKN-1 target gene expression under non-stressed conditions. We identified 41 genes for which knockdown leads to activation of a SKN-1 target gene (gcs-1) through skn-1-dependent or other mechanisms. These genes correspond to multiple cellular processes, including mRNA translation. Inhibition of translation is known to increase longevity and stress resistance and may be important for DR-induced lifespan extension. One model postulates that these effects derive from reduced energy needs, but various observations suggest that specific longevity pathways are involved. Here we show that translation initiation factor RNAi robustly induces SKN-1 target gene transcription and confers skn-1-dependent oxidative stress resistance. The accompanying increases in longevity are mediated largely through the activities of SKN-1 and the transcription factor DAF-16 (FOXO), which is required for longevity that derives from reduced IIS. Our results indicate that the SKN-1 detoxification gene network monitors various metabolic and regulatory processes. Interference with one of these processes, translation initiation, leads to a transcriptional response whereby SKN-1 promotes stress resistance and functions together with DAF-16 to extend lifespan. This stress response may be beneficial for coping with situations that are associated with reduced protein synthesis.
Project description:Insulin/IGF-1-like signaling (IIS) is central to growth and metabolism and has a conserved role in aging. In C. elegans, reductions in IIS increase stress resistance and longevity, effects that require the IIS-inhibited FOXO protein DAF-16. The C. elegans transcription factor SKN-1 also defends against oxidative stress by mobilizing the conserved phase 2 detoxification response. Here we show that IIS not only opposes DAF-16 but also directly inhibits SKN-1 in parallel. The IIS kinases AKT-1, -2, and SGK-1 phosphorylate SKN-1, and reduced IIS leads to constitutive SKN-1 nuclear accumulation in the intestine and SKN-1 target gene activation. SKN-1 contributes to the increased stress tolerance and longevity resulting from reduced IIS and delays aging when expressed transgenically. Furthermore, SKN-1 that is constitutively active increases life span independently of DAF-16. Our findings indicate that the transcription network regulated by SKN-1 promotes longevity and is an important direct target of IIS.
Project description:In C. elegans, the skn-1 gene encodes a transcription factor that resembles mammalian Nrf2 and activates a detoxification response. skn-1 promotes resistance to oxidative stress (Oxr) and also increases lifespan, and it has been suggested that the former causes the latter, consistent with the theory that oxidative damage causes aging. Here, we report that effects of SKN-1 on Oxr and longevity can be dissociated. We also establish that skn-1 expression can be activated by the DAF-16/FoxO transcription factor, another central regulator of growth, metabolism, and aging. Notably, skn-1 is required for Oxr but not increased lifespan resulting from over-expression of DAF-16; concomitantly, DAF-16 over-expression rescues the short lifespan of skn-1 mutants but not their hypersensitivity to oxidative stress. These results suggest that SKN-1 promotes longevity by a mechanism other than protection against oxidative damage.
Project description:The General Control Nonderepressible 2 (GCN2) kinase is a conserved member of the integrated stress response (ISR) pathway that represses protein translation and helps cells to adapt to conditions of nutrient shortage. As such, GCN2 is required for longevity and stress resistance induced by dietary restriction (DR). IMPACT is an ancient protein that inhibits GCN2.Here, we tested whether IMPACT down-regulation mimics the effects of DR in C. elegans. Knockdown of the C. elegans IMPACT homolog impt-1 activated the ISR pathway and increased lifespan and stress resistance of worms in a gcn-2-dependent manner. Impt-1 knockdown exacerbated DR-induced longevity and required several DR-activated transcription factors to extend lifespan, among them SKN-1 and DAF-16, which were induced during larval development and adulthood, respectively, in response to impt-1 RNAi.IMPACT inhibits the ISR pathway, thus limiting the activation of stress response factors that are beneficial during aging and required under DR.
Project description:Peroxiredoxins (Prx) are abundant thiol peroxidases with a conserved anti-ageing role. In contrast to most animals, the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, encodes a single cytosolic 2-Cys Prx, PRDX-2, rendering it an excellent model for examining how peroxiredoxins affect animal physiology and ageing. Our previous work revealed that, although PRDX-2 protects against the toxicity of peroxides, enigmatically, prdx-2-mutant animals are hyper-resistant to other forms of oxidative stress. Here, we have investigated the basis for this increased resistance. Mammalian FOXO and Nrf2 transcription factors directly promote the expression of a range of detoxification enzymes. We show that the FOXO orthologue, DAF-16, and the Nrf2 orthologue, SKN-1, are required for the increased stress resistance of prdx-2-mutant worms. Our data suggest that PRDX-2 is required for normal levels of insulin secretion and hence the inhibition of DAF-16 and SKN-1 by insulin/IGF-1-like signalling (IIS) under nutrient-rich conditions. Intriguingly, loss of PRDX-2 increases DAF-16 and SKN-1 activities sufficiently to increase arsenite resistance without initiating other IIS-inhibited processes. Together, these data suggest that loss of peroxiredoxin function may increase stress resistance by reducing insulin secretion, but that further changes in insulin signalling are required for the reprogramming of development and fat metabolism. In addition, we reveal that the temperature-dependent prolongevity function of PRDX-2 is required for the extended lifespan associated with several pathways, including further reductions in IIS.
Project description:The transcription factor SKN-1, the C . elegans ortholog of mammalian Nrf protein, is a well-known longevity factor, and its activation is observed in several long-lived models. SKN-1 also plays essential roles in xenobiotic and oxidative stress responses. Here, we report deleterious functions of SKN-1 in somatic stress resistance that may impair lifespan. Constitutive SKN-1 activation impairs animal resistance to several stresses, including heat, ER stress and mitochondrial stress, which result from the suppression of DAF-16, another master regulator of longevity. SKN-1 activation abrogates DAF-16 nuclear import and downregulates DAF-16 target genes under stress conditions, while SKN-1 inhibition promotes the expression of DAF-16 targets, even in long-lived mutants. Further, SKN-1 activation induces the expression of vitellogenin proteins, which are required for SKN-1-mediated suppression of DAF-16 and stress resistance. Together, these findings identify detrimental roles for SKN-1 activation in animal health, and more importantly, inspire the rethinking of the complex roles for SKN-1 in aging regulation.
Project description:Host cell factor-1 (HCF-1) is a conserved regulator of the longevity and stress response functions of DAF-16/FOXO. SKN-1 transcription factor is an evolutionarily conserved xenobiotic stress regulator and a pro-longevity factor. Here, we demonstrate that SKN-1 contributes to the enhanced oxidative stress resistance incurred by hcf-1 mutation in C. elegans. HCF-1 prevents the nuclear accumulation of SKN-1 and represses the transcriptional activation of SKN-1 specifically at target genes involved in cellular detoxification pathways. Our findings reveal a novel and context-specific regulatory relationship between two highly conserved longevity and stress response factors HCF-1 and SKN-1.
Project description:Interventions that delay ageing mobilize mechanisms that protect and repair cellular components, but it is unknown how these interventions might slow the functional decline of extracellular matrices, which are also damaged during ageing. Reduced insulin/IGF-1 signalling (rIIS) extends lifespan across the evolutionary spectrum, and in juvenile Caenorhabditis elegans also allows the transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO to induce development into dauer, a diapause that withstands harsh conditions. It has been suggested that rIIS delays C. elegans ageing through activation of dauer-related processes during adulthood, but some rIIS conditions confer robust lifespan extension unaccompanied by any dauer-like traits. Here we show that rIIS can promote C. elegans longevity through a program that is genetically distinct from the dauer pathway, and requires the Nrf (NF-E2-related factor) orthologue SKN-1 acting in parallel to DAF-16. SKN-1 is inhibited by IIS and has been broadly implicated in longevity, but is rendered dispensable for rIIS lifespan extension by even mild activity of dauer-related processes. When IIS is decreased under conditions that do not induce dauer traits, SKN-1 most prominently increases expression of collagens and other extracellular matrix genes. Diverse genetic, nutritional, and pharmacological pro-longevity interventions delay an age-related decline in collagen expression. These collagens mediate adulthood extracellular matrix remodelling, and are needed for ageing to be delayed by interventions that do not involve dauer traits. By genetically delineating a dauer-independent rIIS ageing pathway, our results show that IIS controls a broad set of protective mechanisms during C. elegans adulthood, and may facilitate elucidation of processes of general importance for longevity. The importance of collagen production in diverse anti-ageing interventions implies that extracellular matrix remodelling is a generally essential signature of longevity assurance, and that agents promoting extracellular matrix youthfulness may have systemic benefit.
Project description:Uric acid is a common metabolite found in mammals' serum. Recently, several metabolites have been identified that modulate aging, and uric acid levels are positively correlated with mammals' lifespan. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this are largely undefined. Here we show that uric acid, an end product of purine metabolism, enhances the resistance of oxidative stress and extends the life span of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). We show that uric acid enhances a variety of pathways and leads to the upregulation of genes that are required for uric acid-mediated life span extension. We find that the transcription factors DAF-16/FOXO, SKN-1/NRF2 and HSF-1 contribute to the beneficial longevity conferred by uric acid. We also show that uric acid induced life span extension by regulating the reproductive signaling and insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) pathways. In addition, we find that mitochondrial function plays an important role in uric acid-mediated life span extension. Taken together, these data suggest that uric acid prolongs the life span of C. elegans, in part, because of its antioxidative activity, which in turn regulates the IIS and the reproductive signaling pathways, thereby activating the function of the transcription factors DAF-16, HSF-1 and SKN-1.
Project description:Stress is a fundamental aspect of aging, as accumulated damage from a lifetime of stress can limit lifespan and protective responses to stress can extend lifespan. In this study, we identify a conserved Caenorhabditis elegans GATA transcription factor, egl-27, that is involved in several stress responses and aging. We found that overexpression of egl-27 extends the lifespan of wild-type animals. Furthermore, egl-27 is required for the pro-longevity effects from impaired insulin/IGF-1 like signaling (IIS), as reduced egl-27 activity fully suppresses the longevity of worms that are mutant for the IIS receptor, daf-2. egl-27 expression is inhibited by daf-2 and activated by pro-longevity factors daf-16/FOXO and elt-3/GATA, suggesting that egl-27 acts at the intersection of IIS and GATA pathways to extend lifespan. Consistent with its role in IIS signaling, we found that egl-27 is involved in stress response pathways. egl-27 expression is induced in the presence of multiple stresses, its targets are significantly enriched for many types of stress genes, and altering levels of egl-27 itself affects survival to heat and oxidative stress. Finally, we found that egl-27 expression increases between young and old animals, suggesting that increased levels of egl-27 in aged animals may act to promote stress resistance. These results identify egl-27 as a novel factor that links stress and aging pathways.
Project description:Dietary restriction (DR) extends lifespan and promotes metabolic health in evolutionary distinct species. DR is widely believed to promote longevity by causing an energy deficit leading to increased mitochondrial respiration. We here show that inhibitors of mitochondrial complex I promote physical activity, stress resistance as well as lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans despite normal food uptake, i.e. in the absence of DR. However, complex I inhibition does not further extend lifespan in dietarily restricted nematodes, indicating that impaired complex I activity mimics DR. Promotion of longevity due to complex I inhibition occurs independently of known energy sensors, including DAF-16/FoxO, as well as AAK-2/AMPK and SIR-2.1/sirtuins, or both. Consistent with the concept of mitohormesis, complex I inhibition transiently increases mitochondrial formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that activate PMK-1/p38 MAP kinase and SKN-1/NRF-2. Interference with this retrograde redox signal as well as ablation of two redox-sensitive neurons in the head of the worm similarly prevents extension of lifespan. These findings unexpectedly indicate that DR extends organismal lifespan through transient neuronal ROS signaling rather than sensing of energy depletion, providing unexpected pharmacological options to promote exercise capacity and healthspan despite unaltered eating habits.