Impaired insulin/IGF1 signaling extends life span by promoting mitochondrial L-proline catabolism to induce a transient ROS signal.
ABSTRACT: Impaired insulin and IGF-1 signaling (iIIS) in C. elegans daf-2 mutants extends life span more than 2-fold. Constitutively, iIIS increases mitochondrial activity and reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. By contrast, acute impairment of daf-2 in adult C. elegans reduces glucose uptake and transiently increases ROS. Consistent with the concept of mitohormesis, this ROS signal causes an adaptive response by inducing ROS defense enzymes (SOD, catalase), culminating in ultimately reduced ROS levels despite increased mitochondrial activity. Inhibition of this ROS signal by antioxidants reduces iIIS-mediated longevity by up to 60%. Induction of the ROS signal requires AAK-2 (AMPK), while PMK-1 (p38) and SKN-1 (NRF-2) are needed for the retrograde response. IIIS upregulates mitochondrial L-proline catabolism, and impairment of the latter impairs the life span-extending capacity of iIIS while L-proline supplementation extends C. elegans life span. Taken together, iIIS promotes L-proline metabolism to generate a ROS signal for the adaptive induction of endogenous stress defense to extend life span.
Project description:Extracts of the Chinese plant Polygonum multiflorum (PME) are used for medicinal purposes as well as food supplement due to anti-aging effects. Despite of the common use of these food supplements, experimental data on physiological effects of PME and its underlying molecular mechanisms in vivo are limited. We used the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to analyze anti-aging-effects of PME in vivo (life span, lipofuscin accumulation, oxidative stress resistance, thermal stress resistance) as well as the molecular signaling pathways involved. The effects of PME were examined in wildtype animals and mutants defective in the sirtuin-homologue SIR-2.1 (VC199) and the FOXO-homologue DAF-16 (CF1038). PME possesses antioxidative effects in vivo and increases oxidative stress resistance of the nematodes. While the accumulation of lipofuscin is only slightly decreased, PME causes a significant elongation (18.6%) of mean life span. DAF-16 is essential for the reduction of thermally induced ROS accumulation, while the resistance against paraquat-induced oxidative stress is dependent on SIR-2.1. For the extension of the life span, both DAF-16 and SIR-2.1 are needed. We demonstrate that PME exerts protective effects in C. elegans via modulation of distinct intracellular pathways.
Project description:Mitochondria play a critical role in aging, however, the underlying mechanism is not well understood. We found that a mutation disrupting the C. elegans homolog of Miro GTPase (miro-1) extends life span. This phenotype requires simultaneous loss of miro-1 from multiple tissues including muscles and neurons, and is dependent on daf-16/FOXO. Notably, the amount of mitochondria in the miro-1 mutant is reduced to approximately 50% of the wild-type. Despite this reduction, oxygen consumption is only weakly reduced, suggesting that mitochondria of miro-1 mutants are more active than wild-type mitochondria. The ROS damage is slightly reduced and the mitochondrial unfolded protein response pathway is weakly activated in miro-1 mutants. Unlike previously described long-lived mitochondrial electron transport chain mutants, miro-1 mutants have normal growth rate. These results suggest that the reduction in the amount of mitochondria can affect the life span of an organism through activation of stress pathways.
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:The superoxide free radical (O(2)(•-)) has been viewed as a likely major contributor to aging. If this is correct, then superoxide dismutase (SOD), which removes O(2)(•-), should contribute to longevity assurance. In Caenorhabditis elegans, overexpression (OE) of the major cytosolic Cu/Zn-SOD, sod-1, increases life span. But is this increase caused by enhanced antioxidant defense? sod-1 OE did not reduce measures of lipid oxidation or glycation and actually increased levels of protein oxidation. The effect of sod-1 OE on life span was dependent on the DAF-16/FoxO transcription factor (TF) and, partially, on the heat shock TF HSF-1. Similarly, overexpression of sod-2 (major mitochondrial Mn-SOD) resulted in life-span extension that was daf-16 dependent. sod-1 OE increased steady-state hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) levels in vivo. However, co-overexpression of catalase did not suppress the life-span extension, arguing against H(2)O(2) as a cause of longevity. sod-1 OE increased hsp-4 expression, suggesting increased endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Moreover, longevity was partially suppressed by inactivation of ire-1 and xbp-1, mediators of the ER stress response. This suggests that high levels of SOD-1 protein may challenge protein-folding homeostasis, triggering a daf-16- and hsf-1-dependent stress response that extends life span. These findings imply that SOD overexpression increases C. elegans life span, not by removal of O(2)(•-), but instead by activating longevity-promoting transcription factors.
Project description:Sterol-sensing nuclear receptors and insulin-like growth factor signaling play evolutionarily conserved roles in the control of aging. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, bile acid-like steroid hormones known as dafachronic acids (DAs) influence longevity by binding to and regulating the activity of the conserved nuclear receptor DAF-12, and the insulin receptor (InsR) ortholog DAF-2 controls life span by inhibiting the FoxO transcription factor DAF-16. How the DA/DAF-12 pathway interacts with DAF-2/InsR signaling to control life span is poorly understood. Here we specifically investigated the roles of liganded and unliganded DAF-12 in life span control in the context of reduced DAF-2/InsR signaling. In animals with reduced daf-2/InsR activity, mutations that either reduce DA biosynthesis or fully abrogate DAF-12 activity shorten life span, suggesting that liganded DAF-12 promotes longevity. In animals with reduced DAF-2/InsR activity induced by daf-2/InsR RNAi, both liganded and unliganded DAF-12 promote longevity. However, in daf-2/InsR mutants, liganded and unliganded DAF-12 act in opposition to control life span. Thus, multiple DAF-12 activities influence life span in distinct ways in contexts of reduced DAF-2/InsR signaling. Our findings establish new roles for a conserved steroid signaling pathway in life span control and elucidate interactions among DA biosynthetic pathways, DAF-12, and DAF-2/InsR signaling in aging.
Project description:The life span of Caenorhabditis elegans is controlled by signaling between the germline and the soma. Germ cell removal extends life span by triggering the activation of the DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor in the intestine. Here we analyze microRNA function in C. elegans aging and show that the microRNA mir-71 functions to mediate the effects of germ cell loss on life span. mir-71 is required for the life span extension caused by germline removal, and overexpression of mir-71 further extends the life span of animals lacking germ cells. mir-71 functions in the nervous system to facilitate the localization and transcriptional activity of DAF-16 in the intestine. Our findings reveal a microRNA-dependent mechanism of life span regulation by the germline and indicate that signaling among the gonad, the nervous system, and the intestine coordinates the life span of the entire organism.
Project description:In the present study, we tested the antioxidant activity of phycoerythrin (PE, an oligomeric light harvesting protein isolated from Lyngbya sp. A09DM) to curtail aging effects in Caenorhabditis elegans. Purified PE (100 ?g/ml) dietary supplement was given to C. elegans and investigated for its anti-aging potential. PE treatment improved the mean life span of wild type (N2)-animals from 15?±?0.1 to 19.9?±?0.3 days. PE treatment also moderated the decline in aging-associated physiological functions like pharyngeal pumping and locomotion with increasing age of N2 worms. Moreover, PE treatment also enhanced the stress tolerance in 5-day-aged adults with increase in mean survival rate from 22.2?±?2.5 to 41.6?±?2.5% under thermo stress and from 30.1?±?3.2 to 63.1?±?6.4% under oxidative (hydrogen peroxide)-stress. PE treatment was also noted to moderate the heat-induced expression of human amyloid-beta(A?1-42) peptide and associated paralysis in the muscle tissues of transgenic C. elegans CL4176 (Alzheimer's disease model). Effectiveness of PE in expanding the life span of mutant C. elegans, knockout for some up (daf-2 and age-1)- and down (daf-16)-stream regulators of insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS), shows the independency of PE effect from DAF-2-AGE-1-DAF-16 signaling pathway. Moreover, the inability of PE in expanding the life span of hsf-1 knockout C. elegans(sy441) suggests the dependency of PE effect on heat shock transcription factor (HSF-1) controlling stress-induced gene expression. In conclusion, our results demonstrated a novel anti-aging activity of PE which conferred increased resistance to cellular stress resulting in improved life span and health span of C. elegans.
Project description:Many ectotherms, including C. elegans, have shorter life spans at high temperature than at low temperature. High temperature is generally thought to increase the "rate of living" simply by increasing chemical reaction rates. In this study, we questioned this view and asked whether the temperature dependence of life span is subject to active regulation.We show that thermosensory neurons play a regulatory role in the temperature dependence of life span. Surprisingly, inhibiting the function of thermosensory neurons by mutation or laser ablation causes animals to have even shorter life spans at warm temperature. Thermosensory mutations shorten life span by decreasing expression of daf-9, a gene required for the synthesis of ligands that inhibit the DAF-12, a nuclear hormone receptor. The short life span of thermosensory mutants at warm temperature is completely suppressed by a daf-12(-) mutation.Our data suggest that thermosensory neurons affect life span at warm temperature by changing the activity of a steroid-signaling pathway that affects longevity. We propose that this thermosensory system allows C. elegans to reduce the effect that warm temperature would otherwise have on processes that affect aging, something that warm-blooded animals do by controlling temperature itself.
Project description:Agrimonia procera is a pharmacologically interesting plant which is proposed to protect against various diseases due to its high amount of phytochemicals, e.g., polyphenols. However, in spite of the amount of postulated health benefits, studies concerning the mechanistic effects of Agrimonia procera are limited. Using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we were able to show that an ethanol extract of Agrimonia procera herba (eAE) mediates strong antioxidative effects in the nematode: Beside a strong radical-scavenging activity, eAE reduces accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and protects against paraquat-induced oxidative stress. The extract does not protect against amyloid-?-mediated toxicity, but efficiently increases the life span (up to 12.7%), as well as the resistance to thermal stress (prolongation of survival up to 22%), of this model organism. Using nematodes deficient in the forkhead box O (FoxO)-orthologue DAF-16, we were able to demonstrate that beneficial effects of eAE on stress resistance and life span were mediated via this transcription factor. We showed antioxidative, stress-reducing, and life-prolonging effects of eAE in vivo and were able to demonstrate a molecular mechanism of this extract. These results may be important for identifying further molecular targets of eAE in humans.
Project description:Background:Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, cause a great deal of suffering for both patients and carers. Bacopa monnieri (L.) wettst. Is known for its memory-enhancing properties, and is of great interest in treating neurodegenerative disease. Aims:This study aimed to evaluate B.monnieri against glutamate toxicity, and identify whether B.monnieri reduces mitochondrial and ER stress, as well as to measure B.monnieri's effect on the life span and aging of Caenorhabditis elegans. We hypothesized that B.monnieri would prevent cellular oxidative stress, prevent mitochondrial/ER stress, and increase the life span while reducing signs of aging in C.elegans. Experimental procedures:Glutamate toxicity was measured using viable cell staining assays and the MTT assay. ROS and mitochondrial stress were assessed by H2DCFDA and Rodamine123 staining, with fluorescence/confocal microscopy. C.elegans' median and maximum life span were measured, in response to B.monnieri treatment, along with lipofuscin imaging to measure the health of the C.elegans population. Results:B.monnieri hexane extract (but not ethanol extract) prevented the toxicity of 5?mM glutamate in HT-22?cells. We found that the mechanism involves the reduction of ROS production and the prevention of mitochondrial and ER stress. Furthermore, we showed that B.monnieri could increase the median and maximal lifespan of wild type C.elegans, maintain a younger appearing phenotype in the aged C.elegans. Conclusions:In conclusion, B.monnieri prevents mitochondrial, and oxidative stress in the cultured cells. Furthermore, it can prolong the healthy lifespan of C.elegans, indicating that B.monnieri the potential for therapeutic and preventative use in neurodegenerative disease.