Emodin extends lifespan of <i>Caenorhabditis elegans</i> through insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway depending on DAF-16 and SIR-2.1

<p>The naturally occurring anthraquinone emodin has been serving primarily as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. However, little is known about its potential on anti-aging. This investigation examined the effect of emodin on lifespan and focused on its physiological molecular mechanisms <i>in vivo</i>. Using <i>Caenorhabditis elegans</i> (<i>C. elegans</i>) as an animal model, we found emodin could extend lifespan of worms and improve their antioxidant capacity. Our mechanistic studies revealed that emodin might function via insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) pathway involving, specifically the core transcription factor DAF-16. Quantitative RT-PCR results illustrated that emodin up-regulated transcription of DAF-16 target genes which express antioxidants to promote antioxidant capacity and lifespan of worms. In addition, attenuated effect in <i>sir</i>-<i>2.1</i> mutants suggests that emodin likely functioned in a SIR-2.1-dependent manner. Our study uncovers a novel role of emodin in prolonging lifespan and supports the understanding of emodin being a beneficial dietary supplement.</p> <p>Emodin promotes lifespan and antioxidant capacity of <i>C. elegans</i> through insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway depending on DAF-16 and SIR-2.1.</p>