Note in Science page
Created Feb 06 08, Updated Feb 09 08 03:30
Yeast's life extended 10-fold go to comments

Scientists at the University of Southern California have set a record for the single greatest lifespan extension yet produced in an organism.

The researchers were studying how caloric restriction extends life span in yeast [Caloric restriction (CR) is the only non-genetic intervention known to slow aging and extend (maximum and average) life span in organisms ranging from yeast to mice]. CR has been linked to the down-regulation of Tor, Akt, and Ras signaling.
The team showed that the deletion of both RAS2 and the Akt and S6 kinase homolog SCH9 genes in combination with caloric restriction caused a remarkable 10-fold life span extension!
It is believed that the mutations and the caloric restrictions push the organisms into a maintenance mode, enabling them to redirect energy from growth and reproduction into anti-aging systems until they can feed and breed again.

The researchers are also studying a human population isolated in the mountains of Ecuador that appears to have “equivalent mutations” to the genetically modified yeast. The humans have a mutation in their growth hormone receptor, which controls the genes that are analogous to the delete ones in yeast.
Two copies of the mutation result in a number of health problems (the correct expression of the genes is probably essential during development), but the scientists expect to find characteristics of disease-resistance and long-livedness amongst those with only one copy of the mutation (It looks that cancer is virtually unknown amongst this population).

Life Span Extension by Calorie Restriction Depends on Rim15 and Transcription Factors Downstream of Ras/PKA, Tor, and Sch9 [PLOS Genetics article]

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