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Paper Chase

Direct inhibition of the longevity-promoting factor SKN-1 by insulin-like signaling in C. elegans.

Cell. Mar 21, 2008;132(6):1025-38.
Tullet JM, Hertweck M, An JH, Baker J, Hwang JY, Liu S, Oliveira RP, Baumeister R, Blackwell TK.

Section on Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, Joslin Diabetes Center; Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School; Harvard Stem Cell Institute, 1 Joslin Place, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Abstract:

Insulin/IGF-1-like signaling (IIS) is central to growth and metabolism and has a conserved role in aging. In C. elegans, reductions in IIS increase stress resistance and longevity, effects that require the IIS-inhibited FOXO protein DAF-16. The C. elegans transcription factor SKN-1 also defends against oxidative stress by mobilizing the conserved phase 2 detoxification response. Here we show that IIS not only opposes DAF-16 but also directly inhibits SKN-1 in parallel. The IIS kinases AKT-1, -2, and SGK-1 phosphorylate SKN-1, and reduced IIS leads to constitutive SKN-1 nuclear accumulation in the intestine and SKN-1 target gene activation. SKN-1 contributes to the increased stress tolerance and longevity resulting from reduced IIS and delays aging when expressed transgenically. Furthermore, SKN-1 that is constitutively active increases life span independently of DAF-16. Our findings indicate that the transcription network regulated by SKN-1 promotes longevity and is an important direct target of IIS.