BRCA1 and BARD1 mediate apoptotic resistance but not longevity upon mitochondrial stress in

Torgovnick A, Schiavi A, Shaik A, Kassahun H, Maglioni S, Rea SL, Johnson TE, Reinhardt HC, Honnen S, Schumacher B, Nilsen H, Ventura N

EMBO Rep. 2018 12;19(12)

PMID: 30366941


Interventions that promote healthy aging are typically associated with increased stress resistance. Paradoxically, reducing the activity of core biological processes such as mitochondrial or insulin metabolism promotes the expression of adaptive responses, which in turn increase animal longevity and resistance to stress. In this study, we investigated the relation between the extended lifespan elicited by reduction in mitochondrial functionality and resistance to genotoxic stress. We find that reducing mitochondrial activity during development confers germline resistance to DNA damage-induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in a cell-non-autonomous manner. We identified the homologs of the BRCA1/BARD1 tumor suppressor genes, , as mediators of the anti-apoptotic effect but dispensable for lifespan extension upon mitochondrial stress. Unexpectedly, while reduced mitochondrial activity only in the soma was not sufficient to promote longevity, its reduction only in the germline or in germline-less strains still prolonged lifespan. Thus, in animals with partial reduction in mitochondrial functionality, the mechanisms activated during development to safeguard the germline against genotoxic stress are uncoupled from those required for somatic robustness and animal longevity.

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