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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #313400

Research Project: Genomics, Nutrition, and Health

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Supplementation with major royal jelly proteins increases lifespan, feeding and fecundity in Drosophila

item XIN, XIAO-XUAN - Zhejiang University
item CHEN, YONG - Zhejiang University
item CHEN, DI - Zhejiang University
item XIAO, FA - Zhejiang University
item Parnell, Laurence
item ZHAO, JING - Zhenjiang University
item LIU, LIANG - University Of Georgia
item ORDOVAS, JOSE - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Lai, Chao Qiang
item SHEN, LIRONG - Zhejiang University

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/2016
Publication Date: 7/7/2016
Citation: Xin, X., Chen, Y., Chen, D., Xiao, F., Parnell, L.D., Zhao, J., Liu, L., Ordovas, J.M., Lai, C., Shen, L. 2016. Supplementation with major royal jelly proteins increases lifespan, feeding and fecundity in Drosophila. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 64(29):5803–5812. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.6b00514.

Interpretive Summary: Royal jelly (RJ) produced by worker honeybees is used to feed the queen bee throughout her life, as well as the larvae of worker bees for the first three days after hatching. Supplementation of RJ in the diet has been shown to extend lifespan in several model organisms including mice and fruit flies. However, the key compound in RJ responsible for lifespan extension is unknown. Our goal was to find out if any of the proteins extracted from RJ can extend the lifespan of fruit flies. Researchers found that fly food supplemented with the RJ proteins extended average lifespan by 4-20% both in male and female flies when compared to normal food or a generic protein supplement. In addition, researchers found female flies that live longer consumed more food and produced more offspring. Our findings suggest these RJ proteins are key nutrients that extend lifespan likely by increasing protection from damaging oxidation, a normal byproduct of physiological processes.

Technical Abstract: The major royal-jelly proteins (MRJPs) are the main constituents responsible for the specific physiological role of royal jelly (RJ) in honeybees. Male and female Drosophila flies were fed diets containing either no MRJPs (A) or casein (B) at 1.25% (w/w) of diet or MRJPs at 1.25% (C), 2.50% (D), or 5.00% (E). Diets B, C, D, and E increased mean lifespan by 4.3%, 9.0%, 12.4%, and 13.9% in males and by 5.8%, 9.7%, 20.0%, and 11.8% in females in comparison to results from diet A, respectively. The diet supplemented with 2.50% MRJPs seems to have the optimal dose to improve both physiological and biochemical measures related to aging in both sexes. Interestingly, lifespan extension by MRJPs in Drosophila was positively associated with feeding and fecundity and up-regulation of copper and zinc-superoxide dismutase (CuZn-SOD) and the Egf rmediated signaling pathway. This study provides strong evidence that MRJPs are important components of RJ for prolonging lifespan in Drosophila.