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RLE-1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, regulates C. elegans aging by catalyzing DAF-16 polyubiquitination.


The forkhead transcription factor, DAF-16, a downstream target of the insulin/IGF-I signaling pathway in C. elegans, is indispensable both for lifespan regulation and stress resistance. The molecular mechanisms involved in regulating DAF-16 transcriptional activation remain undefined. Here, we have identified an E3 ubiquitin ligase, RLE-1 (regulation of longevity by E3), which regulates aging in C. elegans. Disruption of RLE-1 expression in C. elegans increases lifespan; this extension of lifespan is due to elevated DAF-16 protein but not to changes of daf-16 mRNA levels. We have also found that RLE-1 catalyzes DAF-16 ubiquitination, leading to degradation by the proteasome. Elimination of RLE-1 expression in C. elegans causes increased transcriptional activation and sustained nuclear localization of DAF-16. Overexpression of DAF-16 in rle-1 mutants increases worm lifespan, while disruption of DAF-16 expression in rle-1 mutants reverses their longevity. Thus, RLE-1 is an E3 ubiquitin ligase of DAF-16 that regulates C. elegans aging.

Pubmed ID: 17276341


  • Li W
  • Gao B
  • Lee SM
  • Bennett K
  • Fang D


Developmental cell

Publication Data

February 5, 2007

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Catalysis
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Heat-Shock Response
  • Hyperthermia, Induced
  • Larva
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Polyubiquitin
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protein Transport
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Thermodynamics
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases