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PLoS One. 2009 Jul 27;4(7):e6348. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006348.

The HIF-1 hypoxia-inducible factor modulates lifespan in C. elegans.

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1
Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA.

Abstract

During normal development or during disease, animal cells experience hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions, and the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) transcription factors implement most of the critical changes in gene expression that enable animals to adapt to this stress. Here, we examine the roles of HIF-1 in post-mitotic aging. We examined the effects of HIF-1 over-expression and of hif-1 loss-of-function mutations on longevity in C. elegans, a powerful genetic system in which adult somatic cells are post-mitotic. We constructed transgenic lines that expressed varying levels of HIF-1 protein and discovered a positive correlation between HIF-1 expression levels and lifespan. The data further showed that HIF-1 acted in parallel to the SKN-1/NRF and DAF-16/FOXO transcription factors to promote longevity. HIF-1 over-expression also conferred increased resistance to heat and oxidative stress. We isolated and characterized additional hif-1 mutations, and we found that each of 3 loss-of-function mutations conferred increased longevity in normal lab culture conditions, but, unlike HIF-1 over-expression, a hif-1 deletion mutation did not extend the lifespan of daf-16 or skn-1 mutants. We conclude that HIF-1 over-expression and hif-1 loss-of-function mutations promote longevity by different pathways. These data establish HIF-1 as one of the key stress-responsive transcription factors that modulate longevity in C. elegans and advance our understanding of the regulatory networks that link oxygen homeostasis and aging.

PMID:
19633713
PMCID:
PMC2711329
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0006348
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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