Effects of p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (p38-MAPK) Pathway Genes on the Lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans

  • Siti Bazilah Zulkefli
  • Ahmad Nazrun Shuid
  • Goon Jo Aan
Keywords: C. elegans, nematode, RNA, DNA, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, p38 MAP Kinase, p38, lifespan, longevity


Modulations of gene expression in p38-MAPK pathway affect the immunity and lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) through various mechanisms. The purpose of this review is to summarize the role of p38-MAPK pathway genes on the lifespan of C. elegans, and identify the regulatory genes involved. Literature search for relevant studies was done through PubMed and Scopus databases using MeSH keywords Caenorhabditis elegans, C. elegans, nematode*, inflam*, gene*, RNA, DNA, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, p38 MAP Kinase* pathway, p38* pathway, MAPK* pathway, lifespan and longevity. The search was limited to studies that were published in the last
ten years (2009-Jan 2019). After exclusion of duplicates and studies that did not meet the inclusion criteria, a total of 21 research articles were selected for further assessments. Data relevant to effects of p38-MAPK pathway genes on the lifespan of C. elegans was independently extracted. Extension of lifespan was reported in daf-2 and pmk-2 knock down mutants. Shortened lifespan was found in sek-1, pmk-1, nsy-1 and skn-1 knock down mutants. Different pathogen or toxicity will trigger different expression of genes of resistance in C. elegans which contribute to the longevity of the worm. In conclusion, increased expression of nsy-1, tir-1, sek-1, pmk-1, pmk-3, skn-1, daf-16 and decreased expression of daf-2 and pmk-2 in p38-MAPK pathway increased the lifespan of C. elegans by improving resistance of the worm towards pathogen.