Strains of Caenorhabditis elegans mutant for clk-1 exhibit a 20-40% increase in mean lifespan. clk-1 encodes a mitochondrial protein thought to be either an enzyme or regulatory molecule acting within the ubiquinone biosynthesis pathway. Here CLK-1 is shown to be related to the ubiquinol oxidase, alternative oxidase, and belong to the functionally diverse di-iron-carboxylate protein family which includes bacterioferritin and methane mono-oxygenase.
Normal human fibroblasts in culture have a limited lifespan, ending in replicative senescence. Introduction of SV40 sequences encoding large T antigen and small t antigen into pre-senescent cells results in an extension of lifespan for an additional 20-30 population doublings.
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an important model for studying the genetics of ageing, with over 50 life-extension mutations known so far. However, little is known about the pathobiology of ageing in this species, limiting attempts to connect genotype with senescent phenotype. Using ultrastructural analysis and visualization of specific cell types with green fluorescent protein, we examined cell integrity in different tissues as the animal ages.
It was recently reported that the plant polyphenol resveratrol, found, e.g., in grape berry skins, extended lifespan in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. This lifespan extension was dependent on an NAD(+)-dependent histone deacetylase, Sir2 in Drosophila and SIR-2.1 in C. elegans. The extension of lifespan appeared to occur through a mechanism related to dietary restriction (DR), the reduction of available nutrients without causing malnutrition, an intervention that extends lifespan in diverse organisms from yeast to mammals.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The burden of protein misfolding is believed to contribute to aging. However, the links between adaptations to conditions associated with protein misfolding and resistance to the time-dependent attrition of cellular function remain poorly understood. We report that worms lacking aip-1, a homologue of mammalian AIRAP (arsenic-inducible proteasomal 19S regulatory particle-associated protein), are not only impaired in their ability to resist exposure to arsenite but also exhibit shortened lifespan and hypersensitivity to misfolding-prone proteins under normal laboratory conditions.
Ethosuximide is a medication used to treat seizure disorders in humans, and we previously demonstrated that ethosuximide can delay age-related changes and extend the lifespan of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The mechanism of action of ethosuximide in lifespan extension is unknown, and elucidating how ethosuximide functions is important for defining endogenous processes that influence lifespan and for exploring the potential of ethosuximide as a therapeutic for age-related diseases.
As in the case of aging, many degenerative disorders also result from progressive mitochondrial deterioration and cellular damage accumulation. Therefore, preventing damage accumulation may delay aging and help to prevent degenerative disorders, especially those associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans a mild mitochondrial dysfunction prolongs the lifespan.
Lifespan can be lengthened by genetic and environmental modifications. Study of these might provide valuable insights into the mechanism of aging. Low doses of radiation and short-term exposure to heat and high concentrations of oxygen prolong the lifespan of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. These might be caused by adaptive responses to harmful environmental conditions. Single-gene mutations have been found to extend lifespan in C. elegans, Drosophila and mice. So far, the best-characterized system is the C.
Platinum nanoparticle (Pt-np) species are superoxide dismutase/catalase mimetics and also have an activity similar to that of mitochondrial electron transport complex I. To examine if this complex I-like activity functions in vivo, we studied the effects of Pt-nps on the lifespan of a mitochondrial complex I-deficient Caenorhabditis elegans mutant, nuo-1 (LB25) compared with wild-type N2. We synthesized a fusion protein of a cell-penetrating peptide, human immunodeficiency virus-1 TAT (48-60), C-terminally linked to a peptide with a high affinity to platinum (GRKKRRQRRRPPQ-DRTSTWR).