Altered plasma activity of β-1,4-galac-tosyl-transferases (B4GALTs) is a novel candidate biomarker of human aging. B4GALT1 is assumed to be largely responsible for this activity increase, but how it modulates the aging process is unclear at present.
To determine how expression of B4GALT1 and other B4GALT enzymes changes during aging of an experimentally tractable model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans.
Targeted analysis of mRNA levels of all 3 C. elegans B4GALT family members was performed by qPCR in wild-type and in long-lived daf-2 (insulin/IGF1-like receptor)-deficient or germline-deficient animals.
bre-4 (B4GALT1/2/3/4) is the only B4GALT whose expression increases during aging in wild-type worms. In addition, bre-4 levels also rise during aging in long-lived daf-2-deficient worms, but not in animals that are long-lived due to the lack of germline stem cells. On the other hand, expression of sqv-3 (B4GALT7) and of W02B12.11 (B4GALT5/6) appears decreased or constant, respectively, in all backgrounds during aging.
The age-dependent bre-4 mRNA increase in C. elegans parallels the age-dependent B4GALT activity increase in humans and is consistent with C. elegans being a suitable experimental organism to define potentially conserved roles of B4GALT1 during aging.

© 2020 The Author(s)Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.