Princeton's announcement about the new Glenn Laboratories for Aging Research at Princeton
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, CA
October 8, 2012 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Room 200 Carl Icahn Laboratory
Using C. elegans to understand the role of autophagy in aging
The cytosolic degradation process of autophagy plays an important role in many age-related diseases and has been directly linked to aging, including in the nematode C. elegans. However, the underlying mechanism by which autophagy modulates aging remains largely elusive. In our laboratory, we are interested in understanding how autophagy contributes to aging, and in one approach to address this question we have focused on finding conserved regulators of this process in C. elegans.
The mammalian transcription factor TFEB was recently found to coordinately up-regulate several genes involved in both the formation of the autophagosome (i.e., the vesicle sequestering material for degradation) and in lysosomal processing (i.e., compartment where active degradation takes place). We have carried out an investigation of the nematode ortholog of TFEB, called HLH-30. Our analysis indicates that HLH-30 is a novel longevity-modulating transcription factor, which displays functional similarity to its mammalian counterpart TFEB. As such, our findings accentuate a central role for autophagy in aging, and highlight the importance of transcriptional mechanisms in the regulation of autophagy.