Relationship Between Catalase and Life Span in Recombinant Inbred Strains of Caenorhabditis elegans


  • Phil Hartman
  • Patrick Belmont
  • Sylvia Zuber
  • Naoaki Ishii
  • Julie Anderson


aging, catalase, caenorhabditis elegans, life span, oxidative stress, recombinant inbreds


Johnson and Wood constructed recombinant inbred strains of Caenorhabditis elegans with life spans ranging from 10 to 31 days. Using these strains, we have demonstrated previously that hyperoxia and methyl viologen inhibited development at rates inversely correlated with life span. The growth rates of the short-lived recombinant inbred strains were more profoundly inhibited by oxidative stress than were those of the long-lived strains. Here we report a positive correlation between life span and catalase levels in these same strains. Specifically, when compared to short-lived strains at 10 days after fertilization, the long-lived strains possessed higher levels of total enzymatic catalase. Northern blots indicated a similar relationship between life span and clt-1mRNA (the cytosolic catalase). This suggests that at least some of the polygenes that influence life span are also responsible for regulating gene expression of catalase, an important defense component against oxidative stress.