Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 6 pp 5300—5317
Verapamil extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans by inhibiting calcineurin activity and promoting autophagy
- 1 State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, Shanghai Key Laboratory of New Drug Design, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China
- 2 Institute of Materia Medica, Dali University, Dali, China
- 3 College of Pharmacy and Chemistry, Dali University, Dali, China
- 4 National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China
Received: September 7, 2019 Accepted: February 22, 2020 Published: March 24, 2020https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.102951
How to Cite
Copyright © 2020 Liu 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.
Previous evidence has revealed that increase in intracellular levels of calcium promotes cellular senescence. However, whether calcium channel blockers (CCBs) can slow aging and extend lifespan is still unknown. In this study, we showed that verapamil, an L-type calcium channel blocker, extended the Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) lifespan and delayed senescence in human lung fibroblasts. Verapamil treatment also improved healthspan in C. elegans as reflected by several age-related physiological parameters, including locomotion, thrashing, age-associated vulval integrity, and osmotic stress resistance. We also found that verapamil acted on the α1 subunit of an L-type calcium channel in C. elegans. Moreover, verapamil extended worm lifespan by inhibiting calcineurin activity. Furthermore, verapamil significantly promoted autophagy as reflected by the expression levels of LGG-1/LC3 and the mRNA levels of autophagy-related genes. In addition, verapamil could not further induce autophagy when tax-6, calcineurin gene, was knocked down, indicating that verapamil-induced lifespan extension is mediated via promoting autophagy processes downstream of calcineurin. In summary, our study provided mechanistic insights into the anti-aging effect of verapamil in C. elegans.