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Dev Cell. 2011 Oct 18;21(4):783-95. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.09.002.

A muscle-specific p38 MAPK/Mef2/MnSOD pathway regulates stress, motor function, and life span in Drosophila.

Author information

1
Cell Biology Department, Emory University School of Medicine, Whitehead Building, Room No. 435, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

Abstract

Molecular mechanisms that concordantly regulate stress, life span, and aging remain incompletely understood. Here, we demonstrate that in Drosophila, a p38 MAP kinase (p38K)/Mef2/MnSOD pathway is a coregulator of stress and life span. Hence, overexpression of p38K extends life span in a MnSOD-dependent manner, whereas inhibition of p38K causes early lethality and precipitates age-related motor dysfunction and stress sensitivity, that is rescued through muscle-restricted (but not neuronal) add-back of p38K. Additionally, mutations in p38K are associated with increased protein carbonylation and Nrf2-dependent transcription, while adversely affecting metabolic response to hypoxia. Mechanistically, p38K modulates expression of the mitochondrial MnSOD enzyme through the transcription factor Mef2, and predictably, perturbations in MnSOD modify p38K-dependent phenotypes. Thus, our results uncover a muscle-restricted p38K-Mef2-MnSOD signaling module that influences life span and stress, distinct from the insulin/JNK/FOXO pathway. We propose that potentiating p38K might be instrumental in restoring the mitochondrial detoxification machinery and combating stress-induced aging.

PMID:
22014527
PMCID:
PMC3199449
DOI:
10.1016/j.devcel.2011.09.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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