Atf-6 Regulates Lifespan through ER-Mitochondrial Calcium Homeostasis
- PMID: 32905769 [PubMed].
Individually, dysfunction of both the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria has been linked to aging, but how communication between these organelles might be targeted to promote longevity is unclear. Here, we provide evidence that, in Caenorhabditis elegans, inhibition of the conserved unfolded protein response (UPR) mediator, activating transcription factor (atf)-6, increases lifespan by modulating calcium homeostasis and signaling to mitochondria. Atf-6 loss confers longevity via downregulation of the ER calcium buffer, calreticulin. ER calcium release via the inositol triphosphate receptor (IPR/itr-1) is required for longevity, while IPR/itr-1 gain of function is sufficient to extend lifespan. Highlighting coordination between organelles, the mitochondrial calcium import channel mcu-1 is also required for atf-6 longevity. IPR inhibition leads to impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics and hyperfusion, which is sufficient to suppress long life in atf-6 mutants. This study reveals the importance of organellar calcium handling as a critical output for the UPR in determining the quality of aging.