Queen honeybees (Apis mellifera) have a much longer lifespan than worker bees. Whether cellular degradation activity is involved in the longevity of queen bees is unknown. In the present study, cellular degradation activity was evaluated in the trophocytes and oenocytes of young and old queen bees. The results indicated that (i) 20S proteasome activity and the size of autophagic vacuoles decreased with aging, and (ii) there were no significant differences between young and old queen bees with regard to 20S proteasome expression or efficiency, polyubiquitin aggregate expression, microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-II (LC3-II) expression, 70 kDa heat shock cognate protein (Hsc70) expression, the density of autophagic vacuoles, p62/SQSTM1 expression, the activity or density of lysosomes, or molecular target of rapamycin expression. These results indicate that cellular degradation activity maintains a youthful status in the trophocytes and oenocytes of queen bees during aging and that cellular degradation activity is involved in maintaining the longevity of queen bees.
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