ETS-4 and Worm Life Span

An open access paper that is representative of much of the present day investigation of the genetics of longevity: "Animal life span is regulated in response to developmental and environmental inputs through coordinate changes in gene expression. Thus, longevity determinants include DNA-binding proteins that regulate gene expression by controlling transcription. Here, we explored the physiological role of the transcriptional regulator, ETS-4, in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Our data showed that worms that lack ETS-4 lived significantly longer, revealing ETS-4's role in the transcription network that regulates life span. We identified 70 genes whose expression was modulated by ETS-4 that function in lipid transport, lipid metabolism and innate immunity. Some of the ETS-4-regulated genes were also controlled by two other regulators of aging, the FOXO and GATA factors. We concluded that a common set of transcriptional targets orchestrate the network of physiological factors that affect aging. ETS-4 is closely related to the human ETS protein SPDEF that exhibits aberrant expression in breast and prostate tumors. Because the genetic pathways that regulate aging are well conserved in other organisms, including humans, our findings could lead to a better understanding of SPDEF function and longevity regulation in mammals."


Comment Submission

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.