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Partial Inhibition of RNA Polymerase I Promotes Animal Health and Longevity

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Guillermo Martinez Corrales
  • Danny Filer
  • Katharina C. Wenz
  • Abbie Rogan
  • George Phillips
  • Mengjia Li
  • Yodit Feseha
  • Susan Broughton
  • Nazif Alic
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/02/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Cell Reports
Issue number6
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)1661-1669
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Health and survival in old age can be improved by changes in gene expression. RNA polymerase (Pol) I is the essential, conserved enzyme whose task is to generate the pre-ribosomal RNA (rRNA). We find that reducing the levels of Pol I activity is sufficient to extend lifespan in the fruit fly. This effect can be recapitulated by partial, adult-restricted inhibition, with both enterocytes and stem cells of the adult midgut emerging as important cell types. In stem cells, Pol I appears to act in the same longevity pathway as Pol III, implicating rRNA synthesis in these cells as the key lifespan determinant. Importantly, reduction in Pol I activity delays broad, agerelated impairment and pathology, improving the function of diverse organ systems. Hence, our study shows that Pol I activity in the adult drives systemic, age-related decline in animal health and anticipates mortality.