Phosphorothioate-DNA bacterial diet reduces the ROS levels in C. elegans while improving locomotion and longevity

Commun Biol. 2021 Nov 25;4(1):1335. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02863-y.


DNA phosphorothioation (PT) is widely distributed in the human gut microbiome. In this work, PT-diet effect on nematodes was studied with PT-bioengineering bacteria. We found that the ROS level decreased by about 20-50% and the age-related lipofuscin accumulation was reduced by 15-25%. Moreover, the PT-feeding worms were more active at all life periods, and more resistant to acute stressors. Intriguingly, their lifespans were prolonged by ~21.7%. Comparative RNA-seq analysis indicated that many gene expressions were dramatically regulated by PT-diet, such as cysteine-rich protein (scl-11/12/13), sulfur-related enzyme (cpr-2), longevity gene (jnk-1) and stress response (sod-3/5, gps-5/6, gst-18/20, hsp-12.8). Both the Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis suggested that neuroactivity pathways were upregulated, while phosphoryl transfer and DNA-repair pathways were down-regulated in good-appetite young worms. The findings pave the way for pro-longevity of multicellular organisms by PT-bacterial interference.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • DNA, Bacterial / administration & dosage
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Longevity / drug effects
  • Phosphates / administration & dosage
  • Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Phosphates
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • thiophosphoric acid

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.16909399.v1
  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.16909417.v1
  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.16909426.v1