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Reevaluation of whether a soma-to-germ-line transformation extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publisher
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume
113
Issue
13
Pages
3591–3596
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1523402113
Source
UCSC Aging biomedical-ucsc
License
Unknown

Abstract

The germ lineage is considered to be immortal. In the quest to extend lifespan, a possible strategy is to drive germ-line traits in somatic cells, to try to confer some of the germ lineage s immortality on the somatic body. Notably, a study inCaenorhabditis eleganssuggested that expression of germ-line genes in the somatic cells of long-liveddaf-2mutants confers some ofdaf-2 s long lifespan. Specifically, mRNAs encoding components ofC. elegansgerm granules (P granules) were up-regulated indaf-2mutant worms, and knockdown of individual P-granule and other germ-line genes indaf-2young adults modestly reduced their lifespan. We investigated the contribution of a germ-line program todaf-2 s long lifespan and also tested whether other mutants known to express germ-line genes in their somatic cells are long-lived. Our key findings are as follows. (i) We could not detect P-granule proteins in the somatic cells ofdaf-2mutants by immunostaining or by expression of a P-granule transgene. (ii) Whole-genome transcript profiling of animals lacking a germ line revealed that germ-line transcripts are not up-regulated in the soma ofdaf-2worms compared with the soma of control worms. (iii) Simultaneous removal of multiple P-granule proteins or the entire germ-line program fromdaf-2worms did not reduce their lifespan. (iv) Several mutants that robustly express a broad spectrum of germ-line genes in their somatic cells are not long-lived. Together, our findings argue against the hypothesis that acquisition of a germ-cell program in somatic cells increases lifespan and contributes todaf-2 s long lifespan.

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