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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1999 Jun 22;96(13):7394-7

Erratum in: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1999 Sep 14;96(19):10944

Neurosecretory control of aging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Ailion M, Inoue T, Weaver CI, Holdcraft RW, Thomas JH

Molecular and Cellular Biology Program of the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, an insulin receptor signaling pathway regulates adult life span and developmental arrest at the dauer larval stage. Here we show that the unc-64 and unc-31 genes also function in this pathway. These two genes are involved in mediating Ca2+-regulated secretion. Mutations in unc-64 and unc-31 increase adult life span and cause constitutive dauer formation. Both phenotypes are suppressed by mutations in daf-16, which also suppresses other mutations in this pathway. We present evidence that the site of action of unc-64 is neuronal, suggesting that a neurosecretory signal regulates life span and dauer formation.