Rui Xiao
Rui Xiao - PhD
AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty - 2017
Rui Xiao

Rui Xiao - PhD

Assistant Professor - University of Florida
Florida, USA


AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty - 2017

Cold-Shock Proteins (CSPs) in stress response and lifespan modulation

As one of the most fundamental environmental cues, temperature has a profound impact on many aspects of cellular physiology. To deal with ever-fluctuating environmental temperatures, animals have developed evolutionarily conserved heat-shock proteins (HSPs) and cold-shock proteins (CSPs).  Although the important roles of HSPs in stress response and aging have been extensively studied, little is known about the functions and regulation of CSPs.

A mild reduction in body temperature has been linked to lifespan extension in organisms ranging from the nematode C. elegans to humans. In addition, hypothermia therapy has long been used to treat brain injuries, cardiac arrest, and many other age-associated pathologic conditions. However, the underlying biological mechanisms of the hypothermia-triggered beneficial effects in aging and tissue recovery remain elusive.

Dr. Xiao recently found that genetic mechanisms play active roles in low temperature-promoted longevity in C. elegans. Identifying these mechanisms could reveal novel players involved in aging. Dr. Xiao and his team have identified 255 strong candidate genes that regulate C. elegans lifespan in a low temperature-dependent manner. Among these candidates, they are particularly interested in the nucleotide-binding CSP CEY-1, and will further study its role in low temperature-promoted longevity. Dr. Xiao’s results could provide a better understanding of temperature regulation of lifespan and stress response. This knowledge could reveal novel genes and pathways involved in animal aging and provide insights into the beneficial effects of mild hypothermia.

Cold-Shock Proteins (CSPs) in stress response and lifespan modulation -Project Mentor

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