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Module VII: Manipulating Biological Pathways to Extend Lifespan

bc talks aging

Despite decades of scientific investigation, we still have a limited understanding of the molecular-level changes that occur during aging. This module will provide an overview of the biological pathways that regulate lifespan, focusing on studies performed on the soil nematode, C. elegans. C. elegans is a valuable model organism for studying aging, due to its short lifespan and ease of genetic manipulation. Interestingly, C. elegans mutants harboring an inactivating mutation in the insulin receptor, DAF-2, demonstrate a two-fold increase in lifespan. The speaker will discuss the work of the Weerapana Research Group at Boston College, where proteomic studies are performed to identify protein activities that regulate lifespan in C. elegans. These studies aim to provide a deeper understanding of the molecular-level changes that occur during aging and provide potential therapeutic targets for age-related diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimers.

Manipulating Biological Pathways to Extend Lifespan

Featuring Dr. Eranthie Weerapana, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Boston College.


Works Cited:

  • C. elegans as a model organism: Riddle, D.L.; Blumenthal, T.; Meyer, B.J.; Priess, J.R. In C. elegans II 2nd ed.; Riddle, D.L., Blumenthal, T., Meyer, B.J., Priess, J. R. Eds. Cold Spring Harbor (NY), 1997.
  • Generation of the daf-2 mutant: Kenyon, C.; Chang, J.; Gensch, E.; Rudner, A.; Tabtiang, R. “A C. elegans mutant that lives twice as long as wild type” Nature, 366, 461-4, 1993.
  • Activity-based protein profiling: Evans, M. J.; Cravatt, B. F. “Mechanism-based profiling of enzyme families” Chem Rev, 106, 3279-301, 2006.


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