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PLoS Biol. 2012;10(4):e1001305. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001305. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

A novel 3-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase that regulates reproductive development and longevity.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Huffington Center on Aging, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America.

Abstract

Endogenous small molecule metabolites that regulate animal longevity are emerging as a novel means to influence health and life span. In C. elegans, bile acid-like steroids called the dafachronic acids (DAs) regulate developmental timing and longevity through the conserved nuclear hormone receptor DAF-12, a homolog of mammalian sterol-regulated receptors LXR and FXR. Using metabolic genetics, mass spectrometry, and biochemical approaches, we identify new activities in DA biosynthesis and characterize an evolutionarily conserved short chain dehydrogenase, DHS-16, as a novel 3-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Through regulation of DA production, DHS-16 controls DAF-12 activity governing longevity in response to signals from the gonad. Our elucidation of C. elegans bile acid biosynthetic pathways reveals the possibility of novel ligands as well as striking biochemical conservation to other animals, which could illuminate new targets for manipulating longevity in metazoans.

PMID:
22505847
PMCID:
PMC3323522
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.1001305
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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