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    Aging animals accumulate insoluble proteins as a consequence of a decline of proteostatic maintenance with age. In Caenorhabditis elegans, for instance, levels of detergent-insoluble proteins increase with age. In longer-lived strains of C. elegans, this accumulation occurs more slowly, implying a link to lifespan determination. We further explored this link and found that detergent-insoluble proteins accumulate more rapidly at higher temperatures, a condition where lifespan is short. We employed a C. elegans strain carrying a GFP transcriptional reporter under the control of a heat shock (hsp-16.2) promoter to investigate the dynamics of proteostatic failure in individual nematodes. We found that early, sporadic activation of hsp-16.2 was predictive of shorter remaining lifespan in individual nematodes. Exposure to rapamycin, resulting in reduced mTOR signaling, delayed spurious expression, extended lifespan, and delayed accumulation of insoluble proteins, suggesting that targets downstream of the mTOR pathway regulate the accumulation of insoluble proteins. We specifically explored ribosomal S6 kinase (rsks-1) as one such candidate and found that RNAi against rsks-1 also resulted in less age-dependent accumulation of insoluble proteins and extended lifespan. Our results demonstrate that inhibition of protein translation via reduced mTOR signaling resulted in slower accumulation of insoluble proteins, delayed proteostatic crisis, and extended lifespan in C. elegans.


    Zhuangli Yee, Shaun Hsien Yang Lim, Li Fang Ng, Jan Gruber. Inhibition of mTOR decreases insoluble proteins burden by reducing translation in C. elegans. Biogerontology. 2021 Feb;22(1):101-118

    PMID: 33159806

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