Towards understanding the lifespan extension by reduced insulin signaling: bioinformatics analysis of DAF-16/FOXO direct targets in Caenorhabditis elegans.
ABSTRACT: DAF-16, the C. elegans FOXO transcription factor, is an important determinant in aging and longevity. In this work, we manually curated FOXODB http://lyh.pkmu.cn/foxodb/, a database of FOXO direct targets. It now covers 208 genes. Bioinformatics analysis on 109 DAF-16 direct targets in C. elegans found interesting results. (i) DAF-16 and transcription factor PQM-1 co-regulate some targets. (ii) Seventeen targets directly regulate lifespan. (iii) Four targets are involved in lifespan extension induced by dietary restriction. And (iv) DAF-16 direct targets might play global roles in lifespan regulation.
Project description:Reduced insulin/IGF-1-like signaling (IIS) extends C. elegans lifespan by upregulating stress response (class I) and downregulating other (class II) genes through a mechanism that depends on the conserved transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO. By integrating genome-wide mRNA expression responsiveness to DAF-16 with genome-wide in vivo binding data for a compendium of transcription factors, we discovered that PQM-1 is the elusive transcriptional activator that directly controls development (class II) genes by binding to the DAF-16-associated element (DAE). DAF-16 directly regulates class I genes only, through the DAF-16-binding element (DBE). Loss of PQM-1 suppresses daf-2 longevity and further slows development. Surprisingly, the nuclear localization of PQM-1 and DAF-16 is controlled by IIS in opposite ways and was also found to be mutually antagonistic. We observe progressive loss of nuclear PQM-1 with age, explaining declining expression of PQM-1 targets. Together, our data suggest an elegant mechanism for balancing stress response and development.
Project description:Insulin regulates development, metabolism, and lifespan via a conserved PI3K/Akt pathway that promotes cytoplasmic sequestration of FoxO transcription factors. The regulation of nuclear FoxO is poorly understood. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, insulin-like signaling functions in larvae to inhibit dauer arrest and acts during adulthood to regulate lifespan. In a screen for genes that modulate C. elegans insulin-like signaling, we identified eak-3, which encodes a novel protein that is specifically expressed in the two endocrine XXX cells. The dauer arrest phenotype of eak-3 mutants is fully suppressed by mutations in daf-16/FoxO, which encodes the major target of C. elegans insulin-like signaling, and daf-12, which encodes a nuclear receptor regulated by steroid hormones known as dafachronic acids. eak-3 mutation does not affect DAF-16/FoxO subcellular localization but enhances expression of the direct DAF-16/FoxO target sod-3 in a daf-16/FoxO- and daf-12-dependent manner. eak-3 mutants have normal lifespans, suggesting that EAK-3 decouples insulin-like regulation of development and longevity. We propose that EAK-3 activity in the XXX cells promotes the synthesis and/or secretion of a hormone that acts in parallel to AKT-1 to inhibit the expression of DAF-16/FoxO target genes. Similar hormonal pathways may regulate FoxO target gene expression in mammals.
Project description: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 AGC family serine-threonine kinases Akt and Sgk are similar in primary amino acid sequence and in vitro substrate specificity, and both kinases are thought to directly phosphorylate and inhibit FoxO transcription factors. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, it is well established that AKT-1 controls dauer arrest and lifespan by regulating the subcellular localization of the FoxO transcription factor DAF-16. SGK-1 is thought to act similarly to AKT-1 in lifespan control by phosphorylating and inhibiting the nuclear translocation of DAF-16/FoxO. Using sgk-1 null and gain-of-function mutants, we now provide multiple lines of evidence indicating that AKT-1 and SGK-1 influence C. elegans lifespan, stress resistance, and DAF-16/FoxO activity in fundamentally different ways. Whereas AKT-1 shortens lifespan, SGK-1 promotes longevity in a DAF-16-/FoxO-dependent manner. In contrast to AKT-1, which reduces resistance to multiple stresses, SGK-1 promotes resistance to oxidative stress and ultraviolet radiation but inhibits thermotolerance. Analysis of several DAF-16/FoxO target genes that are repressed by AKT-1 reveals that SGK-1 represses a subset of these genes while having little influence on the expression of others. Accordingly, unlike AKT-1, which promotes the cytoplasmic sequestration of DAF-16/FoxO, SGK-1 does not influence DAF-16/FoxO subcellular localization. Thus, in spite of their similar in vitro substrate specificities, Akt and Sgk influence longevity, stress resistance, and FoxO activity through distinct mechanisms in vivo. Our findings highlight the need for a re-evaluation of current paradigms of FoxO regulation by Sgk.
Project description:The conserved DAF-16/FOXO transcription factors and SIR-2.1/SIRT1 deacetylases are critical for diverse biological processes, particularly longevity and stress response; and complex regulation of DAF-16/FOXO by SIR-2.1/SIRT1 is central to appropriate biological outcomes. Caenorhabditis elegans Host Cell Factor 1 (HCF-1) is a longevity determinant previously shown to act as a co-repressor of DAF-16. We report here that HCF-1 represents an integral player in the regulatory loop linking SIR-2.1/SIRT1 and DAF-16/FOXO in both worms and mammals. Genetic analyses showed that hcf-1 acts downstream of sir-2.1 to influence lifespan and oxidative stress response in C. elegans. Gene expression profiling revealed a striking 80% overlap between the DAF-16 target genes responsive to hcf-1 mutation and sir-2.1 overexpression. Subsequent GO-term analyses of HCF-1 and SIR-2.1-coregulated DAF-16 targets suggested that HCF-1 and SIR-2.1 together regulate specific aspects of DAF-16-mediated transcription particularly important for aging and stress responses. Analogous to its role in regulating DAF-16/SIR-2.1 target genes in C. elegans, the mammalian HCF-1 also repressed the expression of several FOXO/SIRT1 target genes. Protein-protein association studies demonstrated that SIR-2.1/SIRT1 and HCF-1 form protein complexes in worms and mammalian cells, highlighting the conservation of their regulatory relationship. Our findings uncover a conserved interaction between the key longevity determinants SIR-2.1/SIRT1 and HCF-1, and they provide new insights into the complex regulation of FOXO proteins.
Project description:Lowering insulin-IGF-1-like signalling (IIS) activates FOXO transcription factors (TF) to extend life span across species. To study the dynamics of FOXO chromatin occupancy under this condition in C. elegans, we report the first recruitment profile of endogenous DAF-16 and show that the response is conserved. DAF-16 predominantly acts as a transcriptional activator and binding within the 0.5 kb promoter-proximal region results in maximum induction of downstream targets that code for proteins involved in detoxification and longevity. Interestingly, genes that are activated under low IIS already have higher DAF-16 recruited to their promoters in WT. DAF-16 binds to variants of the FOXO consensus sequence in the promoter proximal regions of genes that are exclusively targeted during low IIS. We also define a set of 'core' direct targets, after comparing multiple studies, which tend to co-express and contribute robustly towards IIS-associated phenotypes. Additionally, we show that nuclear hormone receptor DAF-12 as well as zinc-finger TF EOR-1 may bind DNA in close proximity to DAF-16 and distinct TF classes that are direct targets of DAF-16 may be instrumental in regulating its indirect targets. Together, our study provides fundamental insights into the transcriptional biology of FOXO/DAF-16 and gene regulation downstream of the IIS pathway.
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-like signaling pathway maintains a relatively short wild-type lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans by phosphorylating and inactivating DAF-16, the ortholog of the FOXO transcription factors of mammalian cells. DAF-16 is phosphorylated by the AKT kinases, preventing its nuclear translocation. Calcineurin (PP2B phosphatase) also limits the lifespan of C. elegans, but the mechanism through which it does so is unknown. Herein, we show that TAX-6•CNB-1 and UNC-43, the C. elegans Calcineurin and Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase type II (CAMKII) orthologs, respectively, also regulate lifespan through DAF-16. Moreover, UNC-43 regulates DAF-16 in response to various stress conditions, including starvation, heat or oxidative stress, and cooperatively contributes to lifespan regulation by insulin signaling. However, unlike insulin signaling, UNC-43 phosphorylates and activates DAF-16, thus promoting its nuclear localization. The phosphorylation of DAF-16 at S286 by UNC-43 is removed by TAX-6•CNB-1, leading to DAF-16 inactivation. Mammalian FOXO3 is also regulated by CAMKIIA and Calcineurin. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00518.001.
Project description:In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), the promotion of longevity by the transcription factor DAF-16 requires reduced insulin/IGF receptor (IIR) signaling or the ablation of the germline, although the reason for the negative impact of germ cells is unknown. FOXO/DAF-16 activity inhibits germline proliferation in both daf-2 mutants and gld-1 tumors. In contrast to its function as a germline tumor suppressor, we now provide evidence that somatic DAF-16 in the presence of IIR signaling can also result in tumorigenic activity, which counteracts robust lifespan extension. In contrast to the cell-autonomous IIR signaling, which is required for larval germline proliferation, activation of DAF-16 in the hypodermis results in hyperplasia of the germline and disruption of the surrounding basement membrane. SHC-1 adaptor protein and AKT-1 kinase antagonize, whereas AKT-2 and SGK-1 kinases promote, this cell-nonautonomous DAF-16 function. Our data suggest that a functional balance of DAF-16 activities in different tissues determines longevity and reveals a novel, cell-nonautonomous role of FOXO/DAF-16 to affect stem cells.
Project description:Dietary restriction (DR) is the most effective environmental intervention to extend lifespan in a wide range of species. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the benefits of DR on longevity are still poorly characterized. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is activated by a decrease in energy levels, raising the possibility that AMPK might mediate lifespan extension by DR.By using a novel DR assay that we developed and validated in C. elegans, we find that AMPK is required for this DR method to extend lifespan and delay age-dependent decline. We find that AMPK exerts its effects in part via the FOXO transcription factor DAF-16. FOXO/DAF-16 is necessary for the beneficial effects of this DR method on lifespan. Expression of an active version of AMPK in worms increases stress resistance and extends longevity in a FOXO/DAF-16-dependent manner. Lastly, we find that AMPK activates FOXO/DAF-16-dependent transcription and phosphorylates FOXO/DAF-16 at previously unidentified sites, suggesting a possible direct mechanism of regulation of FOXO/DAF-16 by AMPK.Our study shows that an energy-sensing AMPK-FOXO pathway mediates the lifespan extension induced by a novel method of dietary restriction in C. elegans.