Jujube (Ziziphus Jujuba Mill.) fruit feeding extends lifespan and increases tolerance to environmental stresses by regulating aging-associated gene expression in Drosophila
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Jujube (Ziziphus Jujuba Mill.) fruit has been utilized as an adjunct to alleviate medical symptoms including, but not limited to, anorexia, fatigue, anxiety and mild diarrhea for centuries. Despite a growing body of literature revealing jujube fruit’s health promoting properties such as anti-cancer, anti-inflammation and anti-oxidant effects (shown with cell-based in vitro platforms), there is a paucity of studies systemically examining its impact on whole organisms or throughout the entire course of life utilizing in vivo model systems. Thus, here in this study, we conducted a series of experiments to investigate if jujube fruit can modify an organism’s longevity using a live Drosophila model. We found that jujube fruit feeding extended not only lifespan but also healthspan examined by stress assays such as starvation and paraquat treatment. In an effort to shed light on the mechanisms of these jujube-related benefits at the molecular level, we report that messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of 14-3-3ε, a negative FoxO (Forkhead box O transcription factor) regulator, was dramatically diminished while the abundance of d4E-BP mRNA transcript (drosophila eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E binding protein), a FoxO target gene, was increased, suggesting enhanced FoxO activity with jujube fruit feeding. In conclusion, we hope our results will lead to multidisciplinary research to investigate the potential benefit of jujube fruit as a novel anti-aging agent.