Transcriptional regulation of Caenorhabditis elegans FOXO/DAF-16 modulates lifespan.
ABSTRACT: Insulin/IGF-1 signaling plays a central role in longevity across phylogeny. In C. elegans, the forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factor, DAF-16, is the primary target of insulin/IGF-1 signaling, and multiple isoforms of DAF-16 (a, b, and d/f) modulate lifespan, metabolism, dauer formation, and stress resistance. Thus far, across phylogeny modulation of mammalian FOXOs and DAF-16 have focused on post-translational regulation with little focus on transcriptional regulation. In C. elegans, we have previously shown that DAF-16d/f cooperates with DAF-16a to promote longevity. In this study, we generated transgenic strains expressing near-endogenous levels of either daf-16a or daf-16d/f, and examined temporal expression of the isoforms to further define how these isoforms contribute to lifespan regulation.Here, we show that DAF-16a is sensitive both to changes in gene dosage and to alterations in the level of insulin/IGF-1 signaling. Interestingly, we find that as worms age, the intestinal expression of daf-16d/f but not daf-16a is dramatically upregulated at the level of transcription. Preventing this transcriptional upregulation shortens lifespan, indicating that transcriptional regulation of daf-16d/f promotes longevity. In an RNAi screen of transcriptional regulators, we identify elt-2 (GATA transcription factor) and swsn-1 (core subunit of SWI/SNF complex) as key modulators of daf-16d/f gene expression. ELT-2 and another GATA factor, ELT-4, promote longevity via both DAF-16a and DAF-16d/f while the components of SWI/SNF complex promote longevity specifically via DAF-16d/f.Our findings indicate that transcriptional control of C. elegans FOXO/daf-16 is an essential regulatory event. Considering the conservation of FOXO across species, our findings identify a new layer of FOXO regulation as a potential determinant of mammalian longevity and age-related diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
Project description:The FOXO transcription factor family is a conserved regulator of longevity and the downstream target of insulin/insulin-like signaling. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the FOXO ortholog DAF-16A and D/F isoforms extend lifespan in daf-2 insulin-like receptor mutants. Here we identify the DAF-21/Hsp90 chaperone as a longevity regulator. We find that reducing DAF-21 capacity by daf-21(RNAi) initiated either at the beginning or at the end of larval development shortens wild-type lifespan. daf-21 knockdown employed from the beginning of larval development also decreases longevity of daf-2 mutant and daf-2 silenced nematodes. daf-16 loss-of-function mitigates the lifespan shortening effect of daf-21 silencing. We demonstrate that DAF-21 specifically promotes daf-2 and heat-shock induced nuclear translocation of DAF-16A as well as the induction of DAF-16A-specific mRNAs, without affecting DAF-16D/F localization and transcriptional function. DAF-21 is dispensable for the stability and nuclear import of DAF-16A, excluding a chaperone-client interaction and suggesting that DAF-21 regulates DAF-16A activation upstream of its cellular traffic. Finally, we show a selective requirement for DAF-21 to extend lifespan of DAF-16A, but not DAF-16D/F, transgenic daf-2 mutant strains. Our findings indicate a spatiotemporal determination of multiple DAF-21 roles in fertility, development and longevity and reveal an isoform-specific regulation of DAF-16 activity.
Project description:The insulin/IGF-1 signalling (IIS) pathway has diverse roles from metabolism to longevity. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the single forkhead box O (FOXO) homologue, DAF-16, functions as the major target of the IIS pathway. One of two isoforms, DAF-16a, is known to regulate longevity, stress response and dauer diapause. However, it remains unclear how DAF-16 achieves its specificity in regulating these various biological processes. Here we identify a new isoform, DAF-16d/f, as an important isoform regulating longevity. We show that DAF-16 isoforms functionally cooperate to modulate IIS-mediated processes through differential tissue enrichment, preferential modulation by upstream kinases, and regulating distinct and overlapping target genes. Promoter-swapping experiments show both the promoter and the coding region of DAF-16 are important for its function. Importantly, in mammals, four FOXO genes have overlapping and different functions, and in C. elegans, a single FOXO/DAF-16 uses distinct isoforms to fine-tune the IIS-mediated processes in the context of a whole organism.
Project description:Brugia malayi is a parasitic nematode that causes lymphatic filariasis in humans. Here the solution structure of the forkhead DNA binding domain of Brugia malayi DAF-16a, a putative ortholog of Caenorhabditis elegans DAF-16, is reported. It is believed to be the first structure of a forkhead or winged helix domain from an invertebrate. C. elegans DAF-16 is involved in the insulin/IGF-I signaling pathway and helps control metabolism, longevity, and development. Conservation of sequence and structure with human FOXO proteins suggests that B. malayi DAF-16a is a member of the FOXO family of forkhead proteins.
Project description:FoxO transcription factors promote longevity across taxa. How they do so is poorly understood. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the A- and F-isoforms of the FoxO transcription factor DAF-16 extend life span in the context of reduced DAF-2 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGFR) signaling. To elucidate the mechanistic basis for DAF-16/FoxO-dependent life span extension, we performed an integrative analysis of isoform-specific daf-16/FoxO mutants. In contrast to previous studies suggesting that DAF-16F plays a more prominent role in life span control than DAF-16A, isoform-specific daf-16/FoxO mutant phenotypes and whole transcriptome profiling revealed a predominant role for DAF-16A over DAF-16F in life span control, stress resistance, and target gene regulation. Integration of these data sets enabled the prioritization of a subset of 92 DAF-16/FoxO target genes for functional interrogation. Among 29 genes tested, two DAF-16A-specific target genes significantly influenced longevity. Our discovery of new longevity genes underscores the efficacy of our integrative strategy while providing a general framework for identifying specific downstream gene regulatory events that contribute substantially to transcription factor functions. As FoxO transcription factors have conserved functions in promoting longevity and may be dysregulated in aging-related diseases, these findings promise to illuminate fundamental principles underlying aging in animals. Whole-transcriptome profiling of daf-16/FoxO isoform-specific deletion mutants in the long-lived daf-2(e1370) background. Included are daf-16 wild-type, daf-16 null mutation, daf-16a/f mutation, two independent daf-16a mutations, and daf-16f mutation. N2 wild-type controls are also included.
Project description:FoxO transcription factors promote longevity across taxa. How they do so is poorly understood. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the A- and F-isoforms of the FoxO transcription factor DAF-16 extend life span in the context of reduced DAF-2 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGFR) signaling. To elucidate the mechanistic basis for DAF-16/FoxO-dependent life span extension, we performed an integrative analysis of isoform-specific daf-16/FoxO mutants. In contrast to previous studies suggesting that DAF-16F plays a more prominent role in life span control than DAF-16A, isoform-specific daf-16/FoxO mutant phenotypes and whole transcriptome profiling revealed a predominant role for DAF-16A over DAF-16F in life span control, stress resistance, and target gene regulation. Integration of these datasets enabled the prioritization of a subset of 92 DAF-16/FoxO target genes for functional interrogation. Among 29 genes tested, two DAF-16A-specific target genes significantly influenced longevity. A loss-of-function mutation in the conserved gene gst-20, which is induced by DAF-16A, reduced life span extension in the context of daf-2/IGFR RNAi without influencing longevity in animals subjected to control RNAi. Therefore, gst-20 promotes DAF-16/FoxO-dependent longevity. Conversely, a loss-of-function mutation in srr-4, a gene encoding a seven-transmembrane-domain receptor family member that is repressed by DAF-16A, extended life span in control animals, indicating that DAF-16/FoxO may extend life span at least in part by reducing srr-4 expression. Our discovery of new longevity genes underscores the efficacy of our integrative strategy while providing a general framework for identifying specific downstream gene regulatory events that contribute substantially to transcription factor functions. As FoxO transcription factors have conserved functions in promoting longevity and may be dysregulated in aging-related diseases, these findings promise to illuminate fundamental principles underlying aging in animals.
Project description:Temperature potently modulates various physiologic processes including organismal motility, growth rate, reproduction, and ageing. In ectotherms, longevity varies inversely with temperature, with animals living shorter at higher temperatures. Thermal effects on lifespan and other processes are ascribed to passive changes in metabolic rate, but recent evidence also suggests a regulated process. Here, we demonstrate that in response to temperature, daf-41/ZC395.10, the C. elegans homolog of p23 co-chaperone/prostaglandin E synthase-3, governs entry into the long-lived dauer diapause and regulates adult lifespan. daf-41 deletion triggers constitutive entry into the dauer diapause at elevated temperature dependent on neurosensory machinery (daf-10/IFT122), insulin/IGF-1 signaling (daf-16/FOXO), and steroidal signaling (daf-12/FXR). Surprisingly, daf-41 mutation alters the longevity response to temperature, living longer than wild-type at 25°C but shorter than wild-type at 15°C. Longevity phenotypes at 25°C work through daf-16/FOXO and heat shock factor hsf-1, while short lived phenotypes converge on daf-16/FOXO and depend on the daf-12/FXR steroid receptor. Correlatively daf-41 affected expression of DAF-16 and HSF-1 target genes at high temperature, and nuclear extracts from daf-41 animals showed increased occupancy of the heat shock response element. Our studies suggest that daf-41/p23 modulates key transcriptional changes in longevity pathways in response to temperature.
Project description:Insulin/IGF-1 Signaling (IIS) is known to constrain longevity by inhibiting the transcription factor FOXO. How phosphorylation mediated by IIS kinases regulates lifespan beyond FOXO remains unclear. Here, we profile IIS-dependent phosphorylation changes in a large-scale quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis of wild-type and three IIS mutant Caenorhabditis elegans strains. We quantify more than 15,000 phosphosites and find that 476 of these are differentially phosphorylated in the long-lived daf-2/insulin receptor mutant. We develop a machine learning-based method to prioritize 25 potential lifespan-related phosphosites. We perform validations to show that AKT-1 pT492 inhibits DAF-16/FOXO and compensates the loss of daf-2 function, that EIF-2α pS49 potently inhibits protein synthesis and daf-2 longevity, and that reduced phosphorylation of multiple germline proteins apparently transmits reduced DAF-2 signaling to the soma. In addition, an analysis of kinases with enriched substrates detects that casein kinase 2 (CK2) subunits negatively regulate lifespan. Our study reveals detailed functional insights into longevity.
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:In Caenorhabditis elegans, reduction of insulin/IGF-1 like signaling and loss of germline stem cells both increase lifespan by activating the conserved transcription factor DAF-16 (FOXO). While the mechanisms that regulate DAF-16 nuclear localization in response to insulin/IGF-1 like signaling are well characterized, the molecular pathways that act in parallel to regulate DAF-16 transcriptional activity, and the pathways that couple DAF-16 activity to germline status, are not fully understood at present. Here, we report that inactivation of MBK-1, the C. elegans ortholog of the human FOXO1-kinase DYRK1A substantially shortens the prolonged lifespan of daf-2 and glp-1 mutant animals while decreasing wild-type lifespan to a lesser extent. On the other hand, lifespan-reduction by mutation of the MBK-1-related kinase HPK-1 was not preferential for long-lived mutants. Interestingly, mbk-1 loss still allowed for DAF-16 nuclear accumulation but reduced expression of certain DAF-16 target genes in germline-less, but not in daf-2 mutant animals. These findings indicate that mbk-1 and daf-16 functionally interact in the germline- but not in the daf-2 pathway. Together, our data suggest mbk-1 as a novel regulator of C. elegans longevity upon both, germline ablation and DAF-2 inhibition, and provide evidence for mbk-1 regulating DAF-16 activity in germline-deficient animals.
Project description:Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans each carry a single representative of the Forkhead box O (FoxO) family of transcription factors, dFOXO and DAF-16, respectively. Both are required for lifespan extension by reduced insulin/Igf signaling, and their activation in key tissues can extend lifespan. Aging of these tissues may limit lifespan. Alternatively, FoxOs may promote longevity cell nonautonomously by signaling to themselves (FoxO to FoxO) or other factors (FoxO to other) in distal tissues. Here, we show that activation of dFOXO and DAF-16 in the gut/fat body does not require dfoxo/daf-16 elsewhere to extend lifespan. Rather, in Drosophila, activation of dFOXO in the gut/fat body or in neuroendocrine cells acts on other organs to promote healthy aging by signaling to other, as-yet-unidentified factors. Whereas FoxO-to-FoxO signaling appears to be required for metabolic homeostasis, our results pinpoint FoxO-to-other signaling as an important mechanism through which localized FoxO activity ameliorates aging.