SKN-1 is involved in combination of apple peels and blueberry extracts synergistically protecting against oxidative stress in Caenorhabditis elegans
Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risk of age-related functional declines and chronic diseases, primarily attributed to their bioactive phytochemicals. Apples and blueberries are rich in phytochemicals with a wide range of biological activities and health benefits. Our previous research has shown the combination of apple peel extracts (APE) and blueberry extracts (BE) can synergistically promote the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). The objectives of this study were to determine whether the extension of lifespan was involved in regulation of oxidative stress, and to explore the underlying mechanisms of action. The results showed that the combination of APE and BE could synergistically ameliorate oxidative stress by improving antioxidant enzyme activities and enhancing resistance to paraquat. Meanwhile, treatment with APE plus BE could down-regulate the overexpression of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and affect the expression of antioxidant related genes, including sod-3, cat-1, ctl-1, skn-1, mev-1 and isp-1. However, administration with APE plus BE abolished the extension of the lifespan of skn-1(zu135) mutants, and inhibited the expression of skn-1 downstream genes, including gcs-1, gst-4 and gst-7. In addition, supplementation with APE plus BE could promote the migration of SKN-1 into the nucleus, which eliminated improvement to ROS and paraquat. In conclusion, the combination of APE and BE could synergistically protect against oxidative stress in C. elegans via the SKN-1/Nrf2 pathway. This study provided the theoretical basis to explore the combination of phytochemicals in the prevention of aging regulated by oxidative stress.