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Insulin signaling, mitochondrial DNA copy number regulation and aging in Caenorhabditis elegans Open Access


Other title
insulin signaling
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Hu, Xiaobin
Supervisor and department
Lemire, Bernard (Biochemistry)
Examining committee member and department
Glerum, Moira (Medical Genetics)
Smiley, James (Medical Microbiology & Immunology)
Weiner, Joel (Biochemistry)
Department of Biochemistry

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Mitochondrial dysfunction is considered as a key mechanism of aging but little is known about the impact of mitochondrial biogenesis. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number control is an important aspect of mitochondrial biogenesis and is highly regulated in eukaryotic organisms. By studying mtDNA copy number, our aim is to gain a better understanding of the relationship between mitochondrial biogenesis and aging. We developed an optimized protocol for measuring mtDNA copy number in Caenorhabditis elegans using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). We investigated how mtDNA regulation is affected by a variety of aging-related pathways. We found the insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) pathway regulates mtDNA content in a DAF-16- and UCP-4-dependent manner. By utilizing RNA interference (RNAi) against polg-1, we showed that mitochondrial stress likely modulates lifespan through the IIS pathway. Our work identifies IIS as a communications pathway between mitochondria and the nucleus in modulating mitochondrial biogenesis and lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.
License granted by Xiaobin Hu ( on 2010-06-21T07:27:15Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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