Temporal requirements of SKN-1/NRF as a regulator of lifespan and proteostasis in Caenorhabditis elegans

Danielle Grushko, Hana Boocholez, Amir Levine, Ehud Cohen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Lowering the activity of the Insulin/IGF-1 Signaling (IIS) cascade results in elevated stress resistance, enhanced protein homeostasis (proteostasis) and extended lifespan of worms, flies and mice. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), the longevity phenotype that stems from IIS reduction is entirely dependent upon the activities of a subset of transcription factors including the Forkhead factor DAF-16/FOXO (DAF-16), Heat Shock Factor-1 (HSF-1), SKiNhead/Nrf (SKN-1) and ParaQuat Methylviologen responsive (PQM-1). While DAF-16 determines lifespan exclusively during early adulthood and governs proteostasis in early adulthood and midlife, HSF-1 executes these functions foremost during development. Despite the central roles of SKN-1 as a regulator of lifespan and proteostasis, the temporal requirements of this transcription factor were unknown. Here we employed conditional knockdown techniques and discovered that in C. elegans, SKN-1 is primarily important for longevity and proteostasis during late larval development through early adulthood. Our findings indicate that events that occur during late larval developmental through early adulthood affect lifespan and proteostasis and suggest that subsequent to HSF-1, SKN-1 sets the conditions, partially overlapping temporally with DAF-16, that enable IIS reduction to promote longevity and proteostasis. Our findings raise the intriguing possibility that HSF-1, SKN-1 and DAF-16 function in a coordinated and sequential manner to promote healthy aging.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere0243522
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7 July
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

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Copyright: © 2021 Grushko et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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