Azelaic Acid Promotes Caenorhabditis elegans Longevity at Low Temperature Via an Increase in Fatty Acid Desaturation

Juan Bai, Renalison Farias-Pereira, Miran Jang, Yuan Zhang, Sang Mi Lee, Young Suk Kim, Yeonhwa Park, Jun Bae Ahn, Gun Hee Kim, Kee Hong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Azelaic acid (AzA) is a dicarboxylic acid naturally occurring in various grains having anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidation properties. Recently, AzA is shown to reduce high-fat diet-induced adiposity in animals. However, its physiological role in lipid metabolism and aging in various environmental stresses is unknown. Methods and Results: Using C. elegans as an invertebrate animal model, we demonstrate that AzA suppresses fat accumulation with no effect on lifespan at normal temperatures. Moreover, AzA promotes lifespan at low temperatures by elevation of unsaturated long-chain fatty acids and expression of genes in fatty acid desaturation. We further find that genes encoding fatty acid desaturases such as fat-1, fat-5, fat-6, and fat-7 are crucial for the lifespan-extending effect of AzA at low temperature. Conclusions: Taken together, our results suggest that AzA promotes adaption to low temperature in C. elegans via shifting fatty acid profile to unsaturated long-chain fatty acids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The present study was supported, in part, by the China Scholarship Council (JB), Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (RFP), and USDA Hatch project (No. 1013613), and Rural Development Administration of the Republic of Korea (KHK). The authors declare no competing interests.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC part of Springer Nature.


  • C. elegans
  • azelaic acid
  • fatty acid desaturation
  • lifespan


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