Long-lived organisms often feature more stringent protein and DNA quality control. However, whether RNA quality control mechanisms, such as nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), which degrades both abnormal as well as some normal transcripts, have a role in organismal aging remains unexplored. Here we show that NMD mediates longevity in C. Elegans strains with mutations in daf-2/insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor. We find that daf-2 mutants display enhanced NMD activity and reduced levels of potentially aberrant transcripts. NMD components, including smg-2/UPF1, are required to achieve the longevity of several long-lived mutants, including daf-2 mutant worms. NMD in the nervous system of the animals is particularly important for RNA quality control to promote longevity. Furthermore, we find that downregulation of yars-2/tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase, an NMD target transcript, by daf-2 mutations contributes to longevity. We propose that NMD-mediated RNA surveillance is a crucial quality control process that contributes to longevity conferred by daf-2 mutations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)