Tubular lysosome induction couples animal starvation to healthy aging

Nat Aging. 2023 Sep;3(9):1091-1106. doi: 10.1038/s43587-023-00470-6. Epub 2023 Aug 14.


Dietary restriction promotes longevity in several species via autophagy activation. However, changes to lysosomes underlying this effect remain unclear. Here using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we show that the induction of autophagic tubular lysosomes (TLs), which occurs upon dietary restriction or mechanistic target of rapamycin inhibition, is a critical event linking reduced food intake to lifespan extension. We find that starvation induces TLs not only in affected individuals but also in well-fed descendants, and the presence of gut TLs in well-fed progeny is predictive of enhanced lifespan. Furthermore, we demonstrate that expression of Drosophila small VCP-interacting protein, a TL activator in flies, artificially induces TLs in well-fed worms and improves C. elegans health in old age. These findings identify TLs as a new class of lysosomes that couples starvation to healthy aging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins* / genetics
  • Healthy Aging*
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Starvation* / metabolism


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins