Cell nonautonomy of C. elegans daf-2 function in the regulation of diapause and life span

Cell. 1998 Oct 16;95(2):199-210. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81751-1.


The insulin/IGF receptor homolog DAF-2 regulates the aging in C. elegans. Decreasing daf-2 activity causes fertile adults to remain active much longer than normal and to live more than twice as long. A more severe decrease in daf-2 function causes young larvae to enter a state of diapause rather than progressing to adulthood. We have asked which cells require daf-2 gene activity in order for the animal to develop to adulthood and to age normally. We found that daf-2 functions cell nonautonomously in both processes. Our findings imply that the life span of C. elegans is determined by a signaling cascade in which the DAF-2 receptor acts in multiple cell lineages to regulate the production or activity of a secondary signal (or signals), which, in turn, controls the growth and longevity of individual tissues in the animal.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / growth & development
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Longevity
  • Mosaicism
  • Mutation / physiology
  • Phenotype
  • Pigmentation / genetics
  • Receptor, Insulin / genetics*


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • DAF-2 protein, C elegans
  • Receptor, Insulin