Coordination in the unfolded protein response during aging in outbred deer mice

Exp Gerontol. 2021 Feb:144:111191. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2020.111191. Epub 2020 Dec 5.


Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress has been linked to various metabolic pathologies, neurodegeneration and aging. Although various mechanistic aspects of the resulting unfolded protein response (UPR) have been elucidated, its regulation in genetically diverse populations remains elusive. In the present study we evaluated the expression of chaperones BiP/GRP78, GRP94 and calnexin (CANX) in the lungs, liver and brain of 7 months old and 2-3 years old outbred deer mice P. maniculatus and P. leucopus. Chaperones' expression was highly variable between species, tissues and ages suggesting that levels of expression of individual chaperones do not change consistently during aging. Despite this variation, a high degree of coordination was maintained between chaperones' expression indicating the tight regulation of the UPR which is consistent with its adaptive activity to maintain homeostasis. In the brain though of older P. maniculatus, at which neurodegenerative changes were detected, loss of coordination was revealed, especially between BiP and either of GRP94 or calnexin which indicates that de-coordination rather than aberrant expression is linked to deregulation of the UPR in aging. These findings underscore the involvement of UPR in the onset of aging-related pathologies and suggest that beyond levels of expression, concerted activation may be of significance to attain homeostasis. These findings emphasize the value of genetically diverse models and suggest that beyond levels of expression of individual targets the coordination of transcriptional networks should be considered when links to pathology are explored.

Keywords: Aging; ER stress; Peromyscus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Chaperone BiP
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
  • Homeostasis
  • Peromyscus*
  • Unfolded Protein Response*