S-allylmercapto-N-acetylcysteine protects against oxidative stress and extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

Naphtali Savion*, Amir Levine, Shlomo Kotev-Emeth, Ulrike Bening Abu-Shach, Limor Broday

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


S-allylmercapto-N-acetylcysteine (ASSNAC) was shown in our previous study to activate Nrf2-mediated processes and increase glutathione level and resistance to oxidative stress in cultured endothelial cells. In this study, we explored the antioxidant protective effect of ASSNAC in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. Elegans). Treatment of gst-4 reporter strain (CL2166) with increasing concentrations of ASSNAC (0.2 to 20 mM) for 24 hours and with ASSNAC (10 mM) for various time periods demonstrated a significant concentration- and time-dependent increase in Glutathione S-transferase (GST) gene expression (up to 60-fold at 20 mM after 24 hours). In addition, ASSNAC (2 mM; 24 hours) treatment of C. Elegans strains N2 (wild type strain), gst-4 reporter (CL2166) and temperature sensitive sterile strain (CF512) significantly increased GST enzyme activity by 1.9-, 1.5- and 1.8-fold, respectively. ASSNAC (2.0 mM; 24 hours) increased the reduced glutathione content in N2 and CF512 strains by 5.9- and 4.9-fold, respectively. Exposure of C. Elegans (N2 strain) to a lethal concentration of H2O2 (3.5 mM; 120 min) resulted in death of 88% of the nematodes while pretreatment with ASSNAC (24 hours) reduced nematodes death in a concentration-dependent manner down to 8% at 2.0 mM. C. Elegans nematodes (strain CF512) cultured on agar plates containing ASSNAC (0.5 to 5.0 mM) demonstrated a significant increase in lifespan compared to control (mean lifespan 26.45 ± 0.64 versus 22.90 ± 0.59 days; log-rank p ≤ 0.001 at 2.0 mM) with a maximal lifespan of 40 versus 36 days. In conclusion, ASSNAC upregulates the GST gene expression and enzyme activity as well as the glutathione content in C. Elegans nematodes and thereby increases their resistance to oxidative stress and extends their lifespan.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0194780
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


FundersFunder number
Israel Cancer Research FundPG-14-101
Israel Science Foundation1878/15


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