Probing the unfolded protein response in long-lived naked mole-rats.


The long-living naked mole-rat (NMR) shows negligible senescence and resistance to age-associated diseases. Recent evidence, based on protein-level assays, suggests that enhanced protein homeostasis machinery contributes to NMR stress-resistance and longevity. Here, we develop NMR-specific, transcriptional assays for measuring the unfolded protein response (UPR), a component of ER proteostasis. By varying doses and response times of pharmacological ER stressors applied to NMR kidney fibroblasts, we probe the NMR UPR in detail, demonstrating that NMR fibroblasts have a higher UPR activation threshold compared to mouse fibroblasts under mild ER-stress induction; whereas temporal analysis reveals that severe ER-stress induction results in no comparative differences. Probing NMR UPR activation with our robust assays may lead to insights into the proteostasis and ageing relationship.