The Effects of Dietary Restriction on C. elegans Translation

By: Richard Moller

My new independent project focuses on translational effects seen in C. elegans under conditions of dietary restriction (DR), also known as caloric restriction. DR has been shown - by our lab and others - to increase C. elegans lifespan. My project will test the hypothesis that this increase is the result of a decrease in global translation. Upstream effectors of translation rates such as the Target of Rapamycin (TOR) signaling pathway and the insulin signaling pathway show links to lifespan extension by DR. Genetic manipulations to elucidate the role of translation in dietary restriction are of interest.

Bar graph showing the effects of DR on translation as measured by polysome fractionation analysis. N2 (wild type) worms show greater numbers of unassociated ribosomes (40S, 60S) under DR conditions and fewer associated (80S, 2R and 3R) ribosomes than when fed. Fem-1/fer-15 fertility mutants also show the same properties, indicating that they might be a reasonable substitute for N2 worms to avoid the use of chemicals that might impact the accuracy of further experiments.