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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Longevity and heavy metal resistance in daf-2 and age-1 long-lived mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans.

In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, dauer formation, stress resistance, and longevity are determined in part by DAF-2 (insulin receptor-like protein), AGE-1 (phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase catalytic subunit), and DAF-16 (forkhead transcription factor). Mutations in daf-2 and age-1 result in increased resistance to heat, oxidants, and UV. We have discovered that daf-2 and age-1 mutations result in increased Cd and Cu ion resistance in a 24 h toxicity assay. Lethal concentration (LC50) values for Cd and Cu ions in daf-2 and age-1 mutants were significantly (P<0.001) higher than in wild-type nematodes. However, LC50 values in daf-16;age-1 mutants were not significantly different, implying that metal resistance is influenced by a DAF-16-related function. As metallothionein ( MT) proteins play a major role in metal detoxification, we examined the expression of MT genes both under noninducing conditions and after exposure to sublethal and acute heavy metal stress. MT1 mRNA levels were significantly (P<0.05) higher in daf-2 mutants compared to age-1 mutants and wild-type C. elegans under basal conditions. After 10 mM Cd treatment, induction of MT1 and MT2 mRNA was three- and twofold higher, respectively, in daf-2 mutant worms than in wild-type. However, a sublethal concentration of Cd (0.1 mM) resulted in even higher (three- to sevenfold) levels of both MT mRNAs in all strains. Cu did not induce MT1 or MT2 mRNAs. These results are consistent with a model in which the insulin-signaling pathway determines life span through regulation of stress protein genes[1]


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