The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans: A versatile model for the study of proteotoxicity and aging

Yuli Volovik, Filipa Carvalhal Marques, Ehud Cohen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Toxicity arising from protein misfolding and aggregation (proteotoxicity) is tightly mechanistically linked to the emergence of late-onset neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Why these maladies manifest in late stages of life and what mechanisms protect the young organism from disease are key enigmas. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans offers key advantages that enable systematic exploration of many cell biological and functional aspects of neurodegeneration-linked proteotoxicity. Here we review the abundantly used nematode-based proteotoxicity models and delineate common techniques for the measurement of protein aggregation and rate of proteotoxicity. We also discuss the advantages offered by the worm for genetic screening, drug development and for the exploration of the links between proteotoxicity and the aging process.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)458-464
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Our studies that are described in this manuscript were generously supported by the Rosetrees Trust (EC), the Israel Science Foundation ( ISF #671/11 ) and by the European Research Council (ERC) ( EC#281010 ). FCM is also supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) .


  • Aging
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Proteotoxicity


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