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Authors: Thamsen, Maike
Title: The role of oxidative stress in C. elegans aging
Online publication date: 11-Apr-2011
Year of first publication: 2011
Language: english
Abstract: The free radical theory of aging postulates that aging is caused by damage induced by oxidative stress. Such stress is present when the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) exceeds the cellular antioxidant capacity. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is one of the most abundant ROS. It is produced as a by-product by several enzymes and acts as second messenger controlling the activity of numerous cellular pathways. To maintain H2O2 levels that are sufficiently high to allow signaling to occur, but low enough to prevent damage of cellular macromolecules, the production and removal of H2O2 must be tightly regulated.rnWhen we investigated the effects of peroxide stress in the nematode C. elegans, we found that exogenous as well as endogenous peroxide stress causes age-related symptoms. We identified 40 target proteins of hydrogen peroxide that contain cysteines that get oxidized upon peroxide stress. Oxidation of redox-sensitive cysteines has been shown to regulate numerous cellular functions and likely contributes to the peroxide-mediated decrease in motility, fertility, growth rate and ATP levels. By monitoring the oxidation status of proteins over the lifespan of C. elegans, we discovered that many of the identified peroxide-sensitive proteins are heavily oxidized at distinct stages in life. As the free radical theory of aging predicts, we found oxidation to be significantly elevated in senescent worms. However, we were also able to identify numerous proteins that were significantly oxidized during the development of C. elegans. To investigate whether a correlation exists between developmental oxidative stress and lifespan, we monitored protein oxidation in long- and short-lived strains. We found that protein oxidation in short-lived C. elegans larvae was significantly increased. Additionally short-lived worms were incapable of recovering from the oxidative stress experienced during development which resulted in the inability to establish reducing conditions for the following reproductive phase. Long-lived C. elegans, on the other hand, did only experience a mild increase in protein oxidation in the developmental phase and were able to recover faster from oxidative stress than wild type worms. rnBecause many proteins that are sensitive to oxidation by H2O2 became oxidized in aging C. elegans, we monitored endogenous hydrogen peroxide concentrations over C. elegans lifespan and discovered that peroxide levels are significantly elevated in development. This suggests that the observed developmental protein oxidation is peroxide-mediated. The early onset of oxidative stress might be a result of increased metabolic activity in C. elegans development but could also represent the requirement of ROS dependent signaling events. Our results indicate that longevity is dependent on the worm’s ability to cope with this early boost of oxidants.rn
DDC: 500 Naturwissenschaften
500 Natural sciences and mathematics
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 10 Biologie
Place: Mainz
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-27553
Version: Original work
Publication type: Dissertation
License: In Copyright
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