Autophagy is required for dietary restriction-mediated life span extension in C. elegans

Autophagy. 2007 Nov-Dec;3(6):597-9. doi: 10.4161/auto.4989. Epub 2007 Sep 6.


Dietary restriction extends life span in diverse species including Caenorhabditis elegans. However, the downstream cellular targets regulated by dietary restriction are largely unknown. Autophagy, an evolutionary conserved lysosomal degradation pathway, is induced under starvation conditions and regulates life span in insulin signaling C. elegans mutants. We now report that two essential autophagy genes (bec-1 and Ce-atg7) are required for the longevity phenotype of the C. elegans dietary restriction mutant (eat-2(ad1113) animals. Thus, we propose that autophagy mediates the effect, not only of insulin signaling, but also of dietary restriction on the regulation of C. elegans life span. Since autophagy and longevity control are highly conserved from C. elegans to mammals, a similar role for autophagy in dietary restriction-mediated life span extension may also exist in mammals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy / genetics
  • Autophagy / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / physiology
  • Caloric Restriction / methods*
  • Food Deprivation / physiology*
  • Genes, Helminth / physiology
  • Longevity / genetics
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Plasmids
  • RNA Interference
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • bec-1 protein, C elegans