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lac-1 and lag-1 with ras-1 affect aging and the biological clock in Neurospora crassa

Titlelac-1 and lag-1 with ras-1 affect aging and the biological clock in Neurospora crassa
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBrunson J.K, Griffith J., Bowles D., Case M.E, Arnold J.
JournalEcology and Evolution
Date Published2016/12
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2045-7758
Accession NumberWOS:000392062100001
Keywordsaging; balancing selection; biological clock; ceramide; ceramide synthesis; circadian; circadian-rhythms; frequency; gene; lac-1; lag-1; multiple; mutants; Neurospora crassa; oscillators; pathway; rhythms; saccharomyces-cerevisiae; selection; yeast longevity

Using an automated cell counting technique developed previously (Case et al., Ecology and Evolution 2014; 4: 3494), we explore the lifespan effects of lac-1, a ceramide synthase gene paralogous to lag-1 in Neurospora crassa in conjunction with the band bd (ras-1) gene. We find that the replicative lifespan of a lac-1(KO) bd double mutants is short, about one race tube cycle, and this double mutant lacks a strong similar to 21-hr clock cycle as shown by race tube and fluorometer analysis of fluorescent strains including lac-1(KO). This short replicative lifespan phenotype is contrasted with a very long estimated chronological lifespan for lac-1(KO) bd double mutants from 247 to 462 days based on our regression analyses on log viability, and for the single mutant lac-1(KO), 161 days. Both of these estimated lifespans are much higher than that of previously studied WT and bd single mutant strains. In a lac-1 rescue and induction experiment, the expression of lac-1(+) as driven by a quinic acid--dependent promoter actually decreases the median chronological lifespan of cells down to only 7 days, much lower than the 34--day median lifespan found in control bd conidia also grown on quinic acid media, which we interpret as an effect of balancing selection acting on ceramide levels based on previous findings from the literature. Prior work has shown phytoceramides can act as a signal for apoptosis in stressed N. crassa cells. To test this hypothesis of balancing selection on phytoceramide levels, we examine the viability of WT, -lag-1(KO) bd, and lac-1(KO) bd strains following the dual stresses of heat and glycolysis inhibition, along with phytoceramide treatments of different dosages. We find that the phytoceramide dosage-response curve is altered in the lag-1(KO) bd mutant, but not in the lac-1(KO) bd mutant. We conclude that phytoceramide production is responsible for the previously reported longevity effects in the lag-1(KO) bd mutant, but a different ceramide may be responsible for the longevity effect observed in the lac-1(KO) bd mutant.

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