The TOR pathway interacts with the insulin signaling pathway to regulate C. elegans larval development, metabolism and life span.
The highly conserved target-of-rapamycin (TOR) protein kinases control cell growth in response to nutrients and growth factors. In mammals, TOR has been shown to interact with raptor to relay nutrient signals to downstream translation machinery. We report that in C. elegans, mutations in the genes encoding CeTOR and raptor result in dauer-like larval arrest, implying that CeTOR regulates dauer diapause. The daf-15 (raptor) and let-363 (CeTOR) mutants shift metabolism to accumulate fat, and raptor mutations extend adult life span. daf-15 transcription is regulated by DAF-16, a FOXO transcription factor that is in turn regulated by daf-2 insulin/IGF signaling. This is a new mechanism that regulates the TOR pathway. Thus, DAF-2 insulin/IGF signaling and nutrient signaling converge on DAF-15 (raptor) to regulate C. elegans larval development, metabolism and life span.