Overlapping and distinct functions for a Caenorhabditis elegans SIR2 and DAF-16/FOXO.Mech Ageing Dev 2006; 127(1):48-56MA
The conserved SIR2 protein regulates life span in both yeast and worms: in both organisms overexpression of SIR2 can extend life span and in Caenorhabditis elegans this life span extension is dependent on the forkhead transcription factor, DAF-16. Here, we have done extensive genetic analysis with sir-2.1(ok434), a null mutant of C. elegans sir-2.1, the closest homolog to yeast Sir2p and human SIRT1 to further elucidate its function in life span regulation. sir-2.1(ok434) mutants show a slight decrease in life span as well as sensitivity to various stresses. Our genetic analysis suggests that sir-2.1 is required for life span extension by caloric restriction, independent of the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway. Importantly, analysis with unc-13 mutants indicates that sir-2.1 and daf-16 have overlapping and distinct roles in life span regulation. Our expression analysis shows that sir-2.1 has overlapping and distinct expression pattern compared with daf-16, consistent with the results from our genetic data. Our data defines a central role for C. elegans SIR2 in regulation of life span by caloric restriction and demonstrates that sir-2.1 and daf-16 have both overlapping and distinct functions in regulation of C. elegans life span.