C.elegans models

A strain of C. elegans with a deletion in F22D3.2, the C. elegans homologue of FLCN, is available from the C. elegans Gene Knockout Consortium. This mutant strain (flcn-1) has been characterised by Gharbi et al. (2013), who showed that the deletion leads to a deletion of exon 5 and exon 6 in the mutant cDNA. Flcn-1 worms show increased longevity compared with wildtype worms, living for 25 days rather than 21, and a mild developmental delay. Flcn-1 worms also showed increased thermoresistance at 35oC, with 50% of flcn-1 worms still alive after 10 hours at 35oC, while most wildtype worms had died at this stage.

Other studies with this model found that although flcn-1 null worms were more resistant to oxidative and temperature stresses (Possik et al. 2014), and hyperosmotic stress (Possik et al., 2015), which seemed to be mediated by the C. elegans homologue of AMPK, aak-2. However, they did not see increased lifespan in these animals. The reason for this discrepancy is currently unclear.