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Trends Genet. 1998 Jan;14(1):14-20.

Molecular genetics of life span in C. elegans: how much does it teach us?

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  • 1Department of Biology, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada. hekimi@notung.biol.mcgill.ca


Several loci have been identified in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans that, when mutated, can increase life span. Three of these genes, age-1, daf-2 and clk-1, have now been cloned. Mutations in these three genes are highly pleiotropic and affect many aspects of worm development and behaviour, age-1 and daf-2 act in the same genetic pathway and have similar effects on the worm, age-1 encodes a homologue of the p110 subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and daf-2 encodes an insulin receptor family member, clk-1 encodes a protein of unknown biochemical function similar to the yeast metabolic regulator Cat5p/Coq7p. The implications of these findings for our understanding of organismal ageing are discussed.

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