Research Paper Volume 10, Issue 10 pp 2668—2683
High expression of the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA1 in long-lived termite kings
- 1 Laboratory of Insect Ecology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
- 2 Department of Applied Bioresources Chemistry, The United Graduate School of Agriculture, Tottori University, Tottori 680-8553, Japan
- 3 Hokkaido Forest Research Station, Field Science Education and Research Center, Kyoto University, Hokkaido 088-2339, Japan
- 4 Graduate School of Sciences and Technology for Innovation, Yamaguchi University, Yamaguchi 753-8515, Japan
received: March 11, 2018 ; accepted: September 25, 2018 ; published: October 11, 2018 ;https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.101578
How to Cite
Copyright: Tasaki et al. This is an open‐access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Aging is associated with the accumulation of DNA damage. High expression of DNA repair genes has been suggested to contribute to prolonged lifespan in several organisms. However, the crucial DNA repair genes contributing to longevity remain unknown. Termite kings have an extraordinary long lifespan compared with that of non-reproductive individuals such as workers despite being derived from the same genome, thus providing a singular model for identifying longevity-related genes. In this study, we demonstrated that termite kings express higher levels of the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA1 than other castes. Using RNA sequencing, we identified 21 king-specific genes among 127 newly annotated DNA repair genes in the termite Reticulitermes speratus. Using quantitative PCR, we revealed that some of the highly expressed king-specific genes were significantly upregulated in reproductive tissue (testis) compared to their expression in somatic tissue (fat body). Notably, BRCA1 gene expression in the fat body was more than 4-fold higher in kings than in workers. These results suggest that BRCA1 partly contributes to DNA repair in somatic and reproductive tissues in termite kings. These findings provide important insights into the linkage between BRCA1 gene expression and the extraordinary lifespan of termite kings.