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J Biol Chem. 2007 Feb 23;282(8):5910-8. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

Knockdown of mitochondrial heat shock protein 70 promotes progeria-like phenotypes in caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Division of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Kanazawa University, Kakuma, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-1192, Japan.


Mitochondrial heat shock protein 70 (mthsp70) functions as a mitochondrial import motor and is essential in mitochondrial biogenesis and energy generation in eukaryotic cells. HSP-6 (hsp70F) is a nematode orthologue of mthsp70. Knockdown of HSP-6 by RNA interference in young adult nematodes caused a reduction in the levels of ATP-2, HSP-60 and CLK-1, leading to abnormal mitochondrial morphology and lower ATP levels. As a result, RNA interference-treated worms had lower motility, defects in oogenesis, earlier accumulation of autofluorescent material, and a shorter life span. These are the major phenotypes observed during the aging of worms, suggesting that the reduction of HSP-6 causes early aging or progeria-like phenotypes. The amount of HSP-6 became dramatically reduced at the expected mean life span in not only wild-type but also in long and short life span mutant worms (wild-type, daf-2, and daf-16). Mitochondrial HSP-60 and ATP-2 were also reduced following the reduction of HSP-6 during aging. These results suggest that the reduction of HSP-6 causes defects in mitochondrial function at the final stage of aging, leading to mortality.

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