daf-2, an Insulin Receptor-Like Gene That Regulates Longevity and Diapause in Caenorhabditis elegans

Science  15 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5328, pp. 942-946
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5328.942

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A C. elegans neurosecretory signaling system regulates whether animals enter the reproductive life cycle or arrest development at the long-lived dauer diapause stage. daf-2, a key gene in the genetic pathway that mediates this endocrine signaling, encodes an insulin receptor family member. Decreases in DAF-2 signaling induce metabolic and developmental changes, as in mammalian metabolic control by the insulin receptor. Decreased DAF-2 signaling also causes an increase in life-span. Life-span regulation by insulin-like metabolic control is analogous to mammalian longevity enhancement induced by caloric restriction, suggesting a general link between metabolism, diapause, and longevity.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this report.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: ruvkun{at}

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