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Cell. 1998 Oct 16;95(2):199-210.

Cell nonautonomy of C. elegans daf-2 function in the regulation of diapause and life span.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0448, USA.


The insulin/IGF receptor homolog DAF-2 regulates the aging in C. elegans. Decreasing daf-2 activity causes fertile adults to remain active much longer than normal and to live more than twice as long. A more severe decrease in daf-2 function causes young larvae to enter a state of diapause rather than progressing to adulthood. We have asked which cells require daf-2 gene activity in order for the animal to develop to adulthood and to age normally. We found that daf-2 functions cell nonautonomously in both processes. Our findings imply that the life span of C. elegans is determined by a signaling cascade in which the DAF-2 receptor acts in multiple cell lineages to regulate the production or activity of a secondary signal (or signals), which, in turn, controls the growth and longevity of individual tissues in the animal.

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