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PLoS Genet. 2013 Aug;9(8):e1003737. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003737. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Deletion of microRNA-80 activates dietary restriction to extend C. elegans healthspan and lifespan.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Nelson Biological Laboratories, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey, United States of America.


Caloric/dietary restriction (CR/DR) can promote longevity and protect against age-associated disease across species. The molecular mechanisms coordinating food intake with health-promoting metabolism are thus of significant medical interest. We report that conserved Caenorhabditis elegans microRNA-80 (mir-80) is a major regulator of the DR state. mir-80 deletion confers system-wide healthy aging, including maintained cardiac-like and skeletal muscle-like function at advanced age, reduced accumulation of lipofuscin, and extended lifespan, coincident with induction of physiological features of DR. mir-80 expression is generally high under ad lib feeding and low under food limitation, with most striking food-sensitive expression changes in posterior intestine. The acetyltransferase transcription co-factor cbp-1 and interacting transcription factors daf-16/FOXO and heat shock factor-1 hsf-1 are essential for mir-80(Δ) benefits. Candidate miR-80 target sequences within the cbp-1 transcript may confer food-dependent regulation. Under food limitation, lowered miR-80 levels directly or indirectly increase CBP-1 protein levels to engage metabolic loops that promote DR.

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