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Gene expression profiling of oxidative stress response of C. elegans aging defective AMPK mutants using massively parallel transcriptome sequencing

Heesun Shin13, Hyojin Lee2, Anthony P Fejes1, David L Baillie3, Hyeon-Sook Koo2 and Steven JM Jones1*

  • * Corresponding author: Steven JM Jones

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency, Suite 100 570 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V5Z 4S6

2 Department of Biochemistry, College of Life Science & Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749, Republic of Korea

3 Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:34  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-34

Published: 8 February 2011



A strong association between stress resistance and longevity in multicellular organisms has been established as many mutations that extend lifespan also show increased resistance to stress. AAK-2, the C. elegans homolog of an alpha subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an intracellular fuel sensor that regulates cellular energy homeostasis and functions in stress resistance and lifespan extension.


Here, we investigated global transcriptional responses of aak-2 mutants to oxidative stress and in turn identified potential downstream targets of AAK-2 involved in stress resistance in C. elegans. We employed massively parallel Illumina sequencing technology and performed comprehensive comparative transcriptome analysis. Specifically, we compared the transcriptomes of aak-2 and wild type animals under normal conditions and conditions of induced oxidative stress. This research has presented a snapshot of genome-wide transcriptional activities that take place in C. elegans in response to oxidative stress both in the presence and absence of AAK-2.


The analysis presented in this study has enabled us to identify potential genes involved in stress resistance that may be either directly or indirectly under the control of AAK-2. Furthermore, we have extended our current knowledge of general defense responses of C. elegans against oxidative stress supporting the function for AAK-2 in inhibition of biosynthetic processes, especially lipid synthesis, under oxidative stress and transcriptional regulation of genes involved in reproductive processes.