Succinate Dehydrogenase-Regulated Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase Sustains Copulation Fitness in Aging C.elegans Males. Academic Article uri icon


  • Dysregulated metabolism accelerates reduced decision-making and locomotor ability during aging. To identify mechanisms for delaying behavioral decline, we investigated how C.elegans males sustain their copulatory behavior during early to mid-adulthood. We found that in mid-aged males, gluco-/glyceroneogenesis, promoted by phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), sustains competitive reproductive behavior. C.elegans' PEPCK paralogs, pck-1 and pck-2, increase in expression during the first 2days of adulthood. Insufficient PEPCK expression correlates with reduced egl-2-encoded ether-a-go-go K+ channel expression and premature hyper-excitability of copulatory circuits. For copulation, pck-1 is required in neurons, whereas pck-2 is required in the epidermis. However, PCK-2 is more essential, because we found that epidermal PCK-2 likely supplements the copulation circuitry with fuel. We identified the subunit A of succinate dehydrogenase SDHA-1 as a potent modulator of PEPCK expression. We postulate that during mid-adulthood, reduction in mitochondrial physiology signals the upregulation of cytosolic PEPCK to sustain the male's energy demands.

published proceedings

  • iScience

altmetric score

  • 4.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Goncalves, J., Wan, Y., Guo, X., Rha, K., LeBoeuf, B., Zhang, L., Estler, K., & Garcia, L. R.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Goncalves, Jimmy||Wan, Yufeng||Guo, Xiaoyan||Rha, Kyoungsun||LeBoeuf, Brigitte||Zhang, Liusuo||Estler, Kerolayne||Garcia, L RenĂ©

publication date

  • January 2020