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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2009 May;64(5):530-9. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glp020. Epub 2009 Mar 12.

SOD-1 deletions in Caenorhabditis elegans alter the localization of intracellular reactive oxygen species and show molecular compensation.

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Department of Health Science, Daito Bunka University School of Sports and Health Science, Saitama, Japan.


Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an enzyme that catalytically removes the superoxide radical (*O2-) and protects organisms from oxidative damage during normal aging. We demonstrate that not only the cytosolic *O2- level but also the mitochondrial *O2- level increases in the deletion mutants of sod-1 gene encoding Cu/Zn SOD in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Interestingly, this suggests that the activity of SOD-1, which so far has been thought to act mainly in cytoplasm, helps to control the detoxification of *O2- also in the mitochondria. We also found functional compensation by other SODs, especially the sod-5 gene, which was induced several fold in the mutants. Therefore, the possibility exists that the compensative expression of sod-5 gene in the sod-1 deficit is associated with the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (Ins/IGF-1) signaling pathway, which regulates longevity and stress resistance of C. elegans because the sod-5 gene may be a target of the pathway.

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