Neuroscience Graduate Program at UCSF
The Biology of Cell Migration, Pattern Formation and Lifespan
Our laboratory studies the regulation of aging. Not very long ago, most people thought that aging was something that just happened. We just wear out, like cars. Not true! Several years ago, we discovered that mutations in the gene daf-2, which encodes an insulin/IGF-1-like receptor, double the lifespan of the nematode C. elegans. Since then, insulin/IGF-1 endocrine systems have been shown to regulate the longevity of flies and mice as well. We have found that this system is regulated by sensory neurons in C. elegans, and that signals from the reproductive system also regulate aging. Amazingly, if we perturb insulin/IGF-1 signaling and reproductive cells in the same animal, we end up with animals that live SIX times as normal! What's more, they stay vibrant and healthy until the very end. We have also discovered that a different regulatory system involving mitochondria functions during development to set the rates of behavior and aging. We are now trying to understand how the insulin/IGF-1, reproductive and mitochondrial pathways, as well as another perturbation, caloric restriction, influence lifespan at the molecular level.
Michael Cary, Graduate Student
Della David, Postdoctoral Fellow
Meredith Judy, Researcher
Aimee Kao, Postdoctoral Fellow
Richard Parenteau, Graduate Student
Antoine Roux, Postdoctoral Fellow
Monika Suchanek, Postdoctoral Fellow
Elizabeth Tank, Postdoctoral Fellow
Hsin-Yen Wu, Postdoctoral Fellow
Peichuan Zhang, Postdoctoral Fellow
Kenyon, C.J., Chang, Gensch, E., J. Rudner, A. and Tabtiang, R. (1993) A C. elegans mutant that lives twice as long as wild type. Nature, 366, 461-464.
Apfeld, J. and Kenyon, C. (1998). Cell non-autonomy of C. elegans daf-2 function in the regulation of diapause and lifespan. Cell 95: 199-210
Hsin, H. and Kenyon, C. (1999). Signals from the reproductive system regulate the lifespan of C. elegans. Nature 399: 362-366.
Apfeld, J. and Kenyon, C. (1999). Regulation of lifespan by sensory perception in C. elegans. Nature, 402: 804-809.
Arantis-Oliveira, N., Apfeld, J., Dillin, A. and Kenyon, C. (2001) Regulation of lifespan by germline stem cells in Caenorhabditis elegans. Science, 295:502-505.
Dillin, A., Crawford, D.K. and Kenyon, C. (2002). Timing of Insulin/IGF-1 Signaling in. elegans. Science, 298: 830-834.Dillin, A, Hsu, A Arantes-Oliveira, N, Lehrer-Graiwer, J., Hsin, H, Fraser, A.G., Kamath R.S., Ahringer, J, and Kenyon, C. (2002). Rates of behavior and aging specified by mitochondrial function during development. Science 298: 2398-2401.
Cynthia Kenyon, Ph.D.
UCSF MC 2200Genentech Hall
600 16th Street, GH-S312D
San Francisco, CA 94158