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Langerak, S., Kim, M.J., Lamberg, H., Godinez, M., Main, M., Winslow, L., O'Connor, M.B., Zhu, C.C. (2018). The Drosophila TGF-beta/Activin-like ligands Dawdle and Myoglianin appear to modulate adult lifespan through regulation of 26S proteasome function in adult muscle.  Biol. Open 7(4): bio029454.
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Research paper

The Drosophila Activin signaling pathway employs at least three separate ligands - Activin-β (Actβ), Dawdle (Daw), and Myoglianin (Myo) - to regulate several general aspects of fruit fly larval development, including cell proliferation, neuronal remodeling, and metabolism. Here we provide experimental evidence indicating that both Daw and Myo are anti-ageing factors in adult fruit flies. Knockdown of Myo or Daw in adult fruit flies reduced mean lifespan, while overexpression of either ligand in adult muscle tissues but not in adipose tissues enhanced mean lifespan. An examination of ubiquitinated protein aggregates in adult muscles revealed a strong inverse correlation between Myo- or Daw-initiated Activin signaling and the amount of ubiquitinated protein aggregates. We show that this correlation has important functional implications by demonstrating that the lifespan extension effect caused by overexpression of wild-type Daw or Myo in adult muscle tissues can be completely abrogated by knockdown of a 26S proteasome regulatory subunit Rpn1 in adult fly muscle, and that the prolonged lifespan caused by overexpression of Daw or Myo in adult muscle could be due to enhanced protein levels of the key subunits of 26S proteasome. Overall, our data suggest that Activin signaling initiated by Myo and Daw in adult Drosophila muscles influences lifespan, in part, by modulation of protein homeostasis through either direct or indirect regulation of the 26S proteasome levels. Since Myo is closely related to the vertebrate muscle mass regulator Myostatin (GDF8) and the Myostatin paralog GDF11, our observations may offer a new experimental model for probing the roles of GDF11/8 in ageing regulation in vertebrates.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.

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PMC5936056 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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