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Genes Nutr. 2009 Mar;4(1):59-67. doi: 10.1007/s12263-009-0113-x. Epub 2009 Feb 28.

Feeding a ROS-generator to Caenorhabditis elegans leads to increased expression of small heat shock protein HSP-16.2 and hormesis.

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Department of Food and Nutrition, Molecular Nutrition Unit, Technical University of Munich, Am Forum 5, 85350, Freising, Germany.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are thought to be a driving force in the aging process. In transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under control of the hsp-16.2 promoter (CL2070) 100 muM of the ROS-generator juglone induced GFP-expression. This was associated with translocation of DAF-16 to the nucleus as visualized in a transgenic strain expressing a DAF-16::GFP fusion protein (TJ356) and with increased cellular levels of reduced glutathione. RNA-interference for DAF-16 in CL2070 blocked the juglone-induced HSP-16.2 expression and the increase in glutathione levels. Higher concentrations of juglone did not further increase the adaptive responses but caused premature death, indicating hormetic adaptations unless the stressor exceeds the intrinsic protective capacity. The addition of the ROS-scavenger ascorbic acid finally blocked lifespan reductions and all of the adaptations to juglone stressing that ROS are indeed the molecular species that require protective response.

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