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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Dec 15;112(50):15378-83. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1514012112. Epub 2015 Nov 30.

Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids allocate somatic and germline lipids to ensure fitness during nutrient and oxidative stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Author information

1
Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089; Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, Department of Molecular and Computational Biology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089;
2
Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Huffington Center on Aging, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030;
3
Center for Human Genetic Research and Diabetes Unit, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114.
4
Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089; Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, Department of Molecular and Computational Biology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089; spcurran@usc.edu.

Abstract

Animals in nature are continually challenged by periods of feast and famine as resources inevitably fluctuate, and must allocate somatic reserves for reproduction to abate evolutionary pressures. We identify an age-dependent lipid homeostasis pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans that regulates the mobilization of lipids from the soma to the germline, which supports fecundity but at the cost of survival in nutrient-poor and oxidative stress environments. This trade-off is responsive to the levels of dietary carbohydrates and organismal oleic acid and is coupled to activation of the cytoprotective transcription factor SKN-1 in both laboratory-derived and natural isolates of C. elegans. The homeostatic balance of lipid stores between the somatic and germ cells is mediated by arachidonic acid (omega-6) and eicosapentaenoic acid (omega-3) precursors of eicosanoid signaling molecules. Our results describe a mechanism for resource reallocation within intact animals that influences reproductive fitness at the cost of somatic resilience.

KEYWORDS:

germline; lipids; soma; survival; trade-off

PMID:
26621724
PMCID:
PMC4687584
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1514012112
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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