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See detailThe interplay between protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase activity and insulin-like signaling to extend lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans
Khare, Shilpi; Linster, Carole UL; Clarke, Steven G.

in PLoS ONE (2011), 6(6), 20850

The protein L-isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase functions to initiate the repair of isomerized aspartyl and asparaginyl residues that spontaneously accumulate with age in a variety of organisms ... [more ▼]

The protein L-isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase functions to initiate the repair of isomerized aspartyl and asparaginyl residues that spontaneously accumulate with age in a variety of organisms. Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes lacking the pcm-1 gene encoding this enzyme display a normal lifespan and phenotype under standard laboratory growth conditions. However, significant defects in development, egg laying, dauer survival, and autophagy have been observed in pcm-1 mutant nematodes when deprived of food and when exposed to oxidative stress. Interestingly, overexpression of this repair enzyme in both Drosophila and C. elegans extends adult lifespan under thermal stress. In this work, we show the involvement of the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling (IIS) pathway in PCM-1-dependent lifespan extension in C. elegans. We demonstrate that reducing the levels of the DAF-16 downstream transcriptional effector of the IIS pathway by RNA interference reduces the lifespan extension resulting from PCM-1 overexpression. Using quantitative real-time PCR analysis, we show the up-regulation of DAF-16-dependent stress response genes in the PCM-1 overexpressor animals compared to wild-type and pcm-1 mutant nematodes under mild thermal stress conditions. Additionally, similar to other long-lived C. elegans mutants in the IIS pathway, including daf-2 and age-1 mutants, PCM-1 overexpressor adult animals display increased resistance to severe thermal stress, whereas pcm-1 mutant animals survive less long under these conditions. Although we observe a higher accumulation of damaged proteins in pcm-1 mutant nematodes, the basal level of isoaspartyl residues detected in wild-type animals was not reduced by PCM-1 overexpression. Our results support a signaling role for the protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase in lifespan extension that involves the IIS pathway, but that may be independent of its function in overall protein repair. [less ▲]

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See detailDefective responses to oxidative stress in protein l-isoaspartyl repair-deficient Caenorhabditis elegans
Khare, Shilpi; Gomez, Tara; Linster, Carole UL et al

in Mechanisms of Ageing & Development (2009), 130(10), 670-80

We have shown that Caenorhabditis elegans lacking the PCM-1 protein repair l-isoaspartyl methyltransferase are more sensitive to oxidative stress than wild-type nematodes. Exposure to the redox-cycling ... [more ▼]

We have shown that Caenorhabditis elegans lacking the PCM-1 protein repair l-isoaspartyl methyltransferase are more sensitive to oxidative stress than wild-type nematodes. Exposure to the redox-cycling quinone juglone upon exit from dauer diapause results in defective egg-laying (Egl phenotype) in the pcm-1 mutants only. Treatment with paraquat, a redox-cycling dipyridyl, causes a more severe developmental delay at the second larval stage in pcm-1 mutants than in wild-type nematodes. Finally, exposure to homocysteine and homocysteine thiolactone, molecules that can induce oxidative stress via distinct mechanisms, results in a more pronounced delay in development at the first larval stage in pcm-1 mutants than in wild-type animals. Homocysteine treatment also induced the Egl phenotype in mutant but not wild-type nematodes. All of the effects of these agents were reversed upon addition of vitamin C, indicating that the developmental delay and egg-laying defects result from oxidative stress. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that a mutation in the gene encoding the insulin-like receptor DAF-2 suppresses the Egl phenotype in pcm-1 mutants treated with juglone. Our results support a role of PCM-1 in the cellular responses mediated by the DAF-2 insulin-like signaling pathway in C. elegans for optimal protection against oxidative stress. [less ▲]

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