Quercetin mediated lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans is modulated by age-1, daf-2, sek-1 and unc-43

Biogerontology. 2009 Oct;10(5):565-78. doi: 10.1007/s10522-008-9199-6. Epub 2008 Nov 29.


The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans responds to flavonoid-rich diets with improved health and longevity. The precise mechanism(s) responsible for this remains to be identified, but is believed to be linked to the highly antioxidative properties of flavonoids. This study provides a dissection of lifespan modulation by the flavonoid quercetin. In detail, quercetin was shown not to act as a simple antimicrobial agent or exclusively via radical scavenging capacities. Likewise, lifespan extension had no effect on reproduction and body length. Furthermore, neither a caloric restriction mimetic nor a sirtuin (sir-2.1) dependence was identified as a likely mode of action. However, four genes were pinpointed to be required for the quercetin derived lifespan extension, namely age-1, daf-2, unc-43 and sek-1. The latter two have, to date, not been linked to quercetin-mediated lifespan extension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans* / drug effects
  • Caenorhabditis elegans* / physiology
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2 / genetics
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Diet
  • Life Expectancy
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4 / genetics
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4 / metabolism*
  • Mutation
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism*
  • Quercetin / pharmacology*
  • Receptor, Insulin / genetics
  • Receptor, Insulin / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Temperature


  • Antioxidants
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Quercetin
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • AGE-1 protein, C elegans
  • DAF-2 protein, C elegans
  • Receptor, Insulin
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2
  • unc-43 protein, C elegans
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4
  • sek-1 protein, C elegans