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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
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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 (CC BY 3.0).

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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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