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Overexpression of Fatty-Acid- -Oxidation-Related Genes Extends the Lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster

DOI: 10.1155/2012/854502

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A better understanding of the aging process is necessary to ensure that the healthcare needs of an aging population are met. With the trend toward increased human life expectancies, identification of candidate genes affecting the regulation of lifespan and its relationship to environmental factors is essential. Through misexpression screening of EP mutant lines, we previously isolated several genes extending lifespan when ubiquitously overexpressed, including the two genes encoding the fatty-acid-binding protein and dodecenoyl-CoA delta-isomerase involved in fatty-acid β-oxidation, which is the main energy resource pathway in eukaryotic cells. In this study, we analyzed flies overexpressing the two main components of fatty-acid β-oxidation, and found that overexpression of fatty-acid-β-oxidation-related genes extended the Drosophila lifespan. Furthermore, we found that the ability of dietary restriction to extend lifespan was reduced by the overexpression of fatty-acid-β-oxidation-related genes. Moreover, the overexpression of fatty-acid-β-oxidation-related genes enhanced stress tolerance to oxidative and starvation stresses and activated the dFOXO signal, indicating translocation to the nucleus and transcriptional activation of the dFOXO target genes. Overall, the results of this study suggest that overexpression of fatty-acid-β-oxidation-related genes extends lifespan in a dietary-restriction-related manner, and that the mechanism of this process may be related to FOXO activation. 1. Introduction The trend towards increased life expectancy demands a greater understanding of the aging process to ensure that healthcare needs of an aging population are met. This goal requires identification of the so-called “longevity candidate genes,” which are potential genes important to the regulation of lifespan, as well as appropriate understanding of how the effects of these genes are modulated by environmental factors such as diet. Numerous longevity candidate genes have been identified in model systems using extended longevity mutant phenotypes, offering important insights into the mechanisms of aging and lifespan determination [1–5]. Insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling (IIS), a major nutrient-sensing pathway, is a well-characterized age-related pathway. The loss of IIS function by mutations affecting insulin/IGF receptor, phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K), Akt, and forkhead box (FOXO) has been found to extend the lifespan of C. elegans, Drosophila, and mammals [3, 6–11]. In addition, energy-sensing pathways such as those associated with

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