Roles for ROS and hydrogen sulfide in the longevity response to germline loss in Caenorhabditis elegans.
ABSTRACT: In Caenorhabditis elegans, removing germ cells slows aging and extends life. Here we show that transcription factors that extend life and confer protection to age-related protein-aggregation toxicity are activated early in adulthood in response to a burst of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a shift in sulfur metabolism. Germline loss triggers H2S production, mitochondrial biogenesis, and a dynamic pattern of ROS in specific somatic tissues. A cytoskeletal protein, KRI-1, plays a key role in the generation of H2S and ROS. These kri-1-dependent redox species, in turn, promote life extension by activating SKN-1/Nrf2 and the mitochondrial unfolded-protein response, respectively. Both H2S and, remarkably, kri-1-dependent ROS are required for the life extension produced by low levels of the superoxide-generator paraquat and by a mutation that inhibits respiration. Together our findings link reproductive signaling to mitochondria and define an inducible, kri-1-dependent redox-signaling module that can be invoked in different contexts to extend life and counteract proteotoxicity.
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.
Project description:Paraquat poisoning causes lung fibrosis, which often results in long-term pulmonary dysfunction. Lung fibrosis has been attributed to collagens accumulation, but the underlying regulatory pathway remains unclear. Here we use the genetically tractable <i>C. elegans</i> as a model to study collagen gene transcription in response to paraquat. We find that paraquat robustly up-regulates collagen gene transcription, which is dependent on KRI-1, a poorly studied protein homologous to human KRIT1/CCM1. KRI-1 knockdown prevents paraquat from activating the oxidative stress response transcription factor SKN-1/Nrf2, resulting in reduced collagen transcription and increased paraquat sensitivity. Using human lung fibroblasts (MRC-5), we confirm that both KRIT1 and Nrf2 are required for collagen transcription in response to paraquat. Nrf2 hyper-activation by KEAP1 knockdown bypasses KRIT1 to up-regulate collagen transcription. Our findings on the regulation of collagen gene transcription by paraquat could suggest potential strategies to treat pulmonary fibrosis caused by paraquat poisoning.
Project description:Carbohydrate overconsumption increases blood glucose levels, which contributes to the development of various diseases including obesity and diabetes. It is generally believed that high glucose metabolism increases cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, damages insulin-secreting cells and leads to age-associated diabetic phenotypes. Here we find that in contrast, high glucose suppresses ROS production induced by paraquat in both mammalian cells and the round worm C. elegans. The role of glucose in suppressing ROS is further supported by glucose's ability to alleviate paraquat's toxicity on C. elegans development. Consistently, we find that the ROS-regulated transcription factor SKN-1 is inactivated by glucose. As a result, the ROS/SKN-1-dependent lifespan extension observed in paraquat-treated animals, mitochondrial respiration mutant isp-1 and germline-less mutant glp-1 are all suppressed by glucose. Our study reveals an unprecedented interaction of glucose with ROS, which could have significant impact on our current understanding of glucose- and ROS-related diseases.
Project description:D-Glucosamine (GlcN) is a freely available and commonly used dietary supplement potentially promoting cartilage health in humans, which also acts as an inhibitor of glycolysis. Here we show that GlcN, independent of the hexosamine pathway, extends Caenorhabditis elegans life span by impairing glucose metabolism that activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK/AAK-2) and increases mitochondrial biogenesis. Consistent with the concept of mitohormesis, GlcN promotes increased formation of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) culminating in increased expression of the nematodal amino acid-transporter 1 (aat-1) gene. Ameliorating mitochondrial ROS formation or impairment of aat-1-expression abolishes GlcN-mediated life span extension in an NRF2/SKN-1-dependent fashion. Unlike other calorie restriction mimetics, such as 2-deoxyglucose, GlcN extends life span of ageing C57BL/6 mice, which show an induction of mitochondrial biogenesis, lowered blood glucose levels, enhanced expression of several murine amino-acid transporters, as well as increased amino-acid catabolism. Taken together, we provide evidence that GlcN extends life span in evolutionary distinct species by mimicking a low-carbohydrate diet.
Project description: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:Caffeine and related purine alkaloids are common ingredients of many stimulating drinks. Studies have shown that lower concentrations of caffeine have a protective role in aging-related disorders. However, the associated mode of action of caffeine and its related methylxanthines is still not clear. In this study, we demonstrated that caffeine and theophylline promote longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans. Lifespan studies with the wild type, DAF-16 and SKN-1 mutant strains indicated that the methylxanthines-mediated lifespan extension in C. elegans was independent of DAF-16/FOXO and SKN-1. All the tested methylxanthines could protect C. elegans against acute oxidative stress. At early stages of life, an increase of ROS (reactive oxygen species) induced the translocation of DAF-16 and SKN-1, resulting in upregulation of several antioxidant genes, for example, sod-3p::GFP, gst-4p::GFP, gcs-1p::GFP; and downregulation of hsp-16.2p::GFP. RT-PCR corroborates the upregulation of gst-4 and skn-1 genes. The expression of DAF-16 decreased although its nuclear translocation was induced.
Project description: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:Redox homeostasis regulates key cellular signaling in both physiology and pathology. While perturbations result in shifting the redox homeostasis towards oxidative stress are well documented, the influence of reductive stress (RS) in neurodegenerative diseases and its mechanisms are unknown. Here, we postulate that a redox shift towards the reductive arm (through the activation of Nrf2 signaling) will damage neurons and impair neurogenesis. In proliferating and differentiating neuroblastoma (Neuro 2a/N2a) cells, sulforaphane-mediated Nrf2 activation resulted in increased transcription/translation of antioxidants and glutathione (GSH) production along with significantly declined ROS in a dose-dependent manner leading to a reductive-redox state (i.e. RS). Interestingly, this resulted in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress leading to subsequent protein aggregation/proteotoxicity in neuroblastoma cells. Under RS, we also observed elevated Tau/?-synuclein and their co-localization with other protein aggregates in these cells. Surprisingly, we noticed that acute RS impaired neurogenesis as evidenced from reduced neurite outgrowth/length. Furthermore, maintaining the cells in a sustained RS condition (for five consecutive generations) dramatically reduced their differentiation and prevented the formation of axons (p < 0.05). This impairment in RS mediated neurogenesis occurs through the alteration of Tau dynamics i.e. RS activates the pathogenic GSK3?/Tau cascade thereby promoting the phosphorylation of Tau leading to proteotoxicity. Of note, intermittent withdrawal of sulforaphane from these cells suppressed the proteotoxic insult and re-activated the differentiation process. Overall, this results suggest that either acute or chronic RS could hamper neurogenesis through GSK3?/TAU signaling and proteotoxicity. Therefore, investigations identifying novel redox mechanisms impacting proteostasis are crucial to preserve neuronal health.
Project description:The mechanism whereby lactic acid bacteria extend the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans has previously been elucidated. However, the role of Weissella species has yet not been studied. We show that Weissella koreensis and Weissella cibaria significantly (p < 0.05) extend the lifespan of C. elegans compared with Escherichia coli OP50 and induce the expression of several genes related to lifespan extension (daf-16, aak-2, jnk-1, sod-3 and hif-1). Oral administration of Weissella altered reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and lowered the accumulation of lipofuscin and increased locomotor activity (which translates to a delay in ageing). Moreover, Weissella-fed C. elegans had decreased body sizes, brood sizes, ATP levels and pharyngeal pumping rates compared with E. coli OP50-fed worms. Furthermore, mutations in sod-3, hif-1 or skn-1 did not alter lifespan extension compared with wild-type C. elegans. However, C. elegans failed to display lifespan extension in loss-of-function mutants of daf-16, aak-2 and jnk-1, which highlights the potential role of these genes in Weissella-induced longevity in C. elegans. Weissella species extend C. elegans lifespan by activating DAF-16 via the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, which is related to stress response, and the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-pathway that is activated by dietary restriction.
Project description:Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has dramatic physiological effects on animals that are associated with improved survival in changing conditions. C. elegans grown in H2S are long-lived and thermotolerant (1). To begin to identify mechanisms by which adaptation to H2S effects fundamental physiological functions, we have defined transcriptional changes associated with the response to H2S. Using microarray analysis we observe rapid changes in the abundance of specific mRNAs. The number and magnitude of transcriptional changes increased with the duration of H2S exposure. Functional annotation suggests that genes associated with protein homeostasis are upregulated upon prolonged exposure to H2S. Previous work has shown that the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor, HIF-1, is required for survival in H2S (2). We show that hif-1 is required for all early transcriptional changes in H2S. However, our data suggest that other factors may also regulate transcriptional effects of H2S exposure, and we demonstrate that SKN-1, the C. elegans homologue of NRF2, is also required for some H2S-dependent changes in transcription. Moreover, we have found that, like hif-1, skn-1 is essential to survive exposure to H2S. Our results support a model in which HIF-1 and SKN-1 coordinate a broad transcriptional response to H2S, with the end result to affect a global reorganization of protein homeostasis networks. We propose that these transcriptional responses contribute to the effects of adaptation to H2S on lifespan and thermotolerance. Overall design: A 14 chip study using total RNA isolated independently for each chip. 5 replicates of control untreated samples and 3 biological replicates for each treatement regimen were included