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Preferably, lifespan-extending therapies should work when applied late in life without causing undesired pathologies. Reducing insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 signaling (IIS) increases lifespan across species, but the effects of reduced IIS interventions in extreme geriatric ages remains unknown. Using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we engineered the conditional depletion of the DAF-2/insulin/IGF-1 transmembrane receptor using an auxin-inducible degradation (AID) system. This allowed for the temporal and spatial reduction in DAF-2 protein levels at time points after which interventions such as RNAi become ineffective. Using this system, we found that AID-mediated depletion of DAF-2 protein surpasses the longevity of daf-2 mutants. Depletion of DAF-2 during early adulthood resulted in multiple adverse phenotypes, including growth retardation, germline shrinkage, egg retention, and reduced brood size. By contrast, AID-mediated depletion of DAF-2 post-reproduction, or specifically in the intestine in early adulthood, resulted in an extension of lifespan without these deleterious effects. Strikingly, at geriatric ages, when 75% of the population had died, AID-mediated depletion of DAF-2 protein resulted in a doubling in lifespan. Thus, we provide a proof-of-concept that even close to the end of an individual's lifespan, it is possible to slow aging and promote longevity. © 2021, Venz et al.


Richard Venz, Tina Pekec, Iskra Katic, Rafal Ciosk, Collin Yvès Ewald. End-of-life targeted degradation of DAF-2 insulin/IGF-1 receptor promotes longevity free from growth-related pathologies. eLife. 2021 Sep 10;10

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PMID: 34505574

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