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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 Mar 15;14(6):1023-37. doi: 10.1089/ars.2010.3203. Epub 2010 Oct 28.

Effects of oxidative stress on behavior, physiology, and the redox thiol proteome of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


Accumulation of reactive oxygen species has been implicated in various diseases and aging. However, the precise physiological effects of accumulating oxidants are still largely undefined. Here, we applied a short-term peroxide stress treatment to young Caenorhabditis elegans and measured behavioral, physiological, and cellular consequences. We discovered that exposure to peroxide stress causes a number of immediate changes, including loss in mobility, decreased growth rate, and decreased cellular adenosine triphosphate levels. Many of these alterations, which are highly reminiscent of changes in aging animals, are reversible, suggesting the presence of effective antioxidant systems in young C. elegans. One of these antioxidant systems involves the highly abundant protein peroxiredoxin 2 (PRDX-2), whose gene deletion causes phenotypes symptomatic of chronic peroxide stress and shortens lifespan. Applying the quantitative redox proteomic technique OxICAT to oxidatively stressed wild-type and prdx-2 deletion worms, we identified oxidation-sensitive cysteines in 40 different proteins, including proteins involved in mobility and feeding (e.g., MYO-2 and LET-75), protein translation and homeostasis (e.g., elongation factor 1 [EFT-1] and heat shock protein 1), and adenosine triphosphate regeneration (e.g., nucleoside diphosphate kinase). The oxidative modification of some of these redox-sensitive cysteines may contribute to the physiological and behavioral changes observed in oxidatively stressed animals.

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