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Study of the transgenerational effects of caloric restriction on nematodes c. elegans

Grant number: 14/06124-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2014
Effective date (End): December 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Alves da Silva Mori
Grantee:Silas Pinto da Silva
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


With the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases related to aging, caloric restriction has been shown to be a promising intervention to be able to increase healthy lifespan in many species, besides preventing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, etc. However, caloric restriction is usually an intervention which requires discipline of the individual, which makes it difficult to achieve. Caloric restriction mechanisms, although elusive, includes classic epigenetic changes such as modifications of histones, DNA methylation, regulation of the expression of microRNAs, and others. It has been shown that some modifications in regulatory complexes of histones can increase lifespan in nematodes C. elegans. This effect can be transmitted in a transgenerational manner through the fifth generation of the worm. In addition, it is known that epigenetic changes involving the germ line of C. elegans, especially those associated with gene silencing by small RNAs and transposons, may affect the fertility of the worm and its offspring. Thus, using genetic models of caloric restriction in C. elegans, this work seeks to assess whether there is a possible hereditary transmission of the effects of caloric restriction to subsequent generations. To accomplish this goal, we will evaluate the transgenerational effect of calorie restriction on lifespan, fertility and health of the worm. With that we envision to identify epigenetic and hereditary mechanisms of caloric restriction.