The AMP-activated protein kinase AAK-2 links energy levels and insulin-like signals to lifespan in C. elegans

Genes Dev. 2004 Dec 15;18(24):3004-9. doi: 10.1101/gad.1255404. Epub 2004 Dec 1.


Although limiting energy availability extends lifespan in many organisms, it is not understood how lifespan is coupled to energy levels. We find that the AMP:ATP ratio, a measure of energy levels, increases with age in Caenorhabditis elegans and can be used to predict life expectancy. The C. elegans AMP-activated protein kinase alpha subunit AAK-2 is activated by AMP and functions to extend lifespan. In addition, either an environmental stressor that increases the AMP:ATP ratio or mutations that lower insulin-like signaling extend lifespan in an aak-2-dependent manner. Thus, AAK-2 is a sensor that couples lifespan to information about energy levels and insulin-like signals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Adenosine Monophosphate / metabolism*
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Age Factors
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • DNA Primers
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • Multienzyme Complexes / genetics
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism*
  • Mutagenesis
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Temperature


  • DNA Primers
  • Insulin
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Adenosine Monophosphate
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases