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Toronto, Canada

Perrin A.J.,01 College Street West | Perrin A.J.,University of Toronto | Gunda M.,01 College Street West | Yu B.,01 College Street West | And 7 more authors.
Cell Death and Differentiation | Year: 2013

The insulin-IGF-1 pathway controls a number of physiological processes in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, including development, aging and stress response. We previously found that the Akt-PKB ortholog AKT-1 dampens the apoptotic response to genotoxic stress in the germline by negatively regulating the p53-like transcription factor CEP-1. Here, we report unexpected rearrangements to the insulin-IGF-1 pathway, whereby the insulin-like receptor DAF-2 and 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase PDK-1 oppose AKT-1 to promote DNA damage-induced apoptosis. While DNA damage does not affect phosphorylation at the PDK-1 site Thr350-Thr308 of AKT-1, it increased phosphorylation at Ser517-Ser473. Although ablation of daf-2 or pdk-1 completely suppressed akt-1-dependent apoptosis, the transcriptional activation of CEP-1 was unaffected, suggesting that daf-2 and pdk-1 act independently or downstream of cep-1 and akt-1. Ablation of the akt-1 paralog akt-2 or the downstream target of the insulin-IGF-1 pathway daf-16 (a FOXO transcription factor) restored sensitivity to damage-induced apoptosis in daf-2 and pdk-1 mutants. In addition, daf-2 and pdk-1 mutants have reduced levels of phospho-MPK-1-ERK in their germ cells, indicating that the insulin-IGF-1 pathway promotes Ras signaling in the germline. Ablation of the Ras effector gla-3, a negative regulator of mpk-1, restored sensitivity to apoptosis in daf-2 mutants, suggesting that gla-3 acts downstream of daf-2. In addition, the hypersensitivity of let-60-Ras gain-of-function mutants to damage-induced apoptosis was suppressed to wild-type levels by ablation of daf-2. Thus, insulin-IGF-1 signaling selectively engages AKT-2-DAF-16 to promote DNA damage-induced germ cell apoptosis downstream of CEP-1 through the Ras pathway. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

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