Mitochondria-originated redox signalling regulates KLF-1 to promote longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

Redox Biol. 2022 Dec;58:102533. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2022.102533. Epub 2022 Nov 19.


Alternations of redox metabolism have been associated with the extension of lifespan in roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, caused by moderate mitochondrial dysfunction, although the underlying signalling cascades are largely unknown. Previously, we identified transcriptional factor Krüppel-like factor-1 (KLF-1) as the main regulator of cytoprotective longevity-assurance pathways in the C. elegans long-lived mitochondrial mutants. Here, we show that KLF-1 translocation to the nucleus and the activation of the signalling cascade is dependent on the mitochondria-derived hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) produced during late developmental phases where aerobic respiration and somatic mitochondrial biogenesis peak. We further show that mitochondrial-inducible superoxide dismutase-3 (SOD-3), together with voltage-dependent anion channel-1 (VDAC-1), is required for the life-promoting H2O2 signalling that is further regulated by peroxiredoxin-3 (PRDX-3). Increased H2O2 release in the cytoplasm activates the p38 MAPK signalling cascade that induces KLF-1 translocation to the nucleus and the activation of transcription of C. elegans longevity-promoting genes, including cytoprotective cytochrome P450 oxidases. Taken together, our results underline the importance of redox-regulated signalling as the key regulator of longevity-inducing pathways in C. elegans, and position precisely timed mitochondria-derived H2O2 in the middle of it.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins* / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins* / metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans* / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Longevity / genetics
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
  • Klf-1 protein, C elegans