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Nat Genet. 2006 Feb;38(2):251-7. Epub 2005 Dec 25.

Identification of direct DAF-16 targets controlling longevity, metabolism and diapause by chromatin immunoprecipitation.

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Program in Gene Function and Expression, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01605, USA.


DAF-16, a forkhead transcription factor, is a key regulator of longevity, metabolism and dauer diapause in Caenorhabditis elegans. The precise mechanism by which DAF-16 regulates multiple functions, however, is poorly understood. Here, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) to identify direct targets of DAF-16. We cloned 103 target sequences containing consensus DAF-16 binding sites and selected 33 targets for further analysis. Expression of most of these genes is regulated in a DAF-16-dependent manner, and inactivation of more than half of these genes significantly altered DAF-16-dependent functions, including life span, fat storage and dauer formation. Our results show that the ChIP-based cloning strategy leads to greater enrichment for DAF-16 target genes than previous screening strategies. We also demonstrate that DAF-16 is recruited to multiple promoters to coordinate regulation of its downstream targets. The large number of target genes discovered provides insight into how DAF-16 controls diverse biological functions.

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