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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2010, 11(12), 4814-4825; doi:10.3390/ijms11124814

The lin-4 Gene Controls Fat Accumulation and Longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

1 Department of Pediatrics, Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, No.123 Tianfei Road, 210004 Nanjing, China 2 Institute of Pediatrics, Nanjing Medical University, No.140 Hanzhong Road, 210029 Nanjing, China These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 October 2010 / Revised: 5 November 2010 / Accepted: 18 November 2010 / Published: 25 November 2010
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Previous studies have determined that lin-4, which was the first miRNA to be discovered, controls the timing of cell fate determination and life span in Caenorhabditis elegans. However, the mechanism of lin-4 involvement in these processes remains poorly understood. Fat storage is an essential aspect of the life cycle of organisms, and the function of lin-4 in fat accumulation is not clear. In this study, we showed that the fat content is reduced remarkably in C. elegans lin-4 mutants. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed a considerable decrease in the levels of SBP-1 and OGA-1 mRNA in lin-4 mutants. We also showed that lin-4 mutants have a significantly shorter life span than wild-type worms. DCF assay experiments showed that the reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels increased and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number decreased in loss-of-function lin-4 mutants. These mutants also showed attenuation of locomotion. Taken together, our findings suggest that lin-4 may play an important role in regulating fat accumulation and locomotion and that lin-4 may control the life span of C. elegans by mediating ROS production.
Keywords: lin-4; Caenorhabditis elegans; fat accumulation; life span; locomotion lin-4; Caenorhabditis elegans; fat accumulation; life span; locomotion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zhu, C.; Ji, C.-B.; Zhang, C.-M.; Gao, C.-L.; Zhu, J.-G.; Qin, D.-N.; Kou, C.-Z.; Zhu, G.-Z.; Shi, C.-M.; Guo, X.-R. The lin-4 Gene Controls Fat Accumulation and Longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans . Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2010, 11, 4814-4825.

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