Toxicity of aggregation-prone proteins is thought to play an important role in ageing and age-related neurological diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Here we identify tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (tdo-2), the first enzyme in the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan degradation, as a metabolic regulator of age-related α-synuclein toxicity in a C. elegans model. Depletion of tdo-2 also suppresses toxicity of other heterologous aggregation-prone proteins, including amyloid-β and polyglutamine proteins, and of endogenous meta-stable proteins that are sensors of normal protein homeostasis. This suggests that tdo-2 functions as a general regulator of protein homeostasis. Analysis of metabolite levels in C. elegans strains with mutations in enzymes that act downstream of tdo-2 indicates that this suppression of toxicity is independent of downstream metabolites in the kynurenine pathway. Depletion of tdo-2 increases tryptophan levels and feeding worms with extra L-tryptophan also suppresses toxicity, suggesting that tdo-2 regulates proteotoxicity through tryptophan. Depletion of tdo-2 extends lifespan in worms. Together these results implicate tdo-2 as a metabolic switch of age-related protein homeostasis and lifespan. With TDO and Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase as evolutionarily conserved human orthologs of TDO-2, intervening with tryptophan metabolism may offer avenues to reducing proteotoxicity in ageing and age-related diseases.
- c. elegans
- aggregation-prone proteins
- protein toxicity
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.