Use of RNAi in Brachionus manjavacas to Inhibit Cold-Related Genes Implicated in Aging
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Aging can be affected by a number of factors, including temperature; for example, organisms tend to live significantly longer when exposed to colder temperatures. Previous studies suggest that this change in life expectancy due to temperature change has a genetic component. Through the use of RNA interference, we have found that aging genes can be knocked-down in our model animal, Brachionus manjavacas (Rotifera). Using RNAi, we examined the effect of genetic knock-down on genes related to life extension at lower temperatures (16oC) compared to standard culture temperatures (22oC). This study has provided evidence that temperature-dependent changes in longevity may be largely due to changes in expression levels in select genes: Forkhead Box C (FhBC), TRP7, and S6P. Future research may show that the life extending effects of certain living conditions may be obtainable through genetic treatment.