P. anserina mutants with impairments in complex IV (COX) of the respiratory chain are characterized by an increase in lifespan. Examples are the nuclear grisea mutant with a moderate lifespan extension (60%) and the immortal extranuclear ex1 mutant. Here we report data demonstrating that in mutant ex1 the level of the alternative oxidase (PaAOX) is significantly higher than in mutant grisea. PaAOX levels appear to be reversely dependent on COX activity.
Sirtuins are protein deacetylases/mono-ADP-ribosyltransferases found in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans. This group of enzymes relies on nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) as a cofactor linking their activity to the cellular metabolic status. Originally found in yeast, Sir2 was discovered as a silencing factor and has been shown to mediate the effects of calorie restriction on lifespan extension.
Candida albicans is one of the most prevalent human opportunistic pathogens. C. albicans undergoes a yeast-to-hyphal transition that has been identified as a virulence factor as well as a critical element for mature biofilm formation. A previous study in our lab showed retigeric acid B (RAB), a lichen derived pentacyclic triterpenoid, displayed synergistic antifungal activity with azoles. We now showed that this combination also proved to be adequate in combating the formation of hyphae in vitro.
Studies of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae reveal four processes determining life span: metabolism, stress resistance, chromatin-dependent gene regulation, and genome stability. The retrograde response, which signals mitochondrial dysfunction resulting in changes in nuclear gene expression, extends yeast life span and is induced during normal aging. This response involves extensive metabolic adaptations. The retrograde response links metabolism and genome stability during yeast aging. A reduction in the availability of nutrients also extends yeast life span.
Calorie restriction is the first and most compelling example of life extension in mammals. Much speculation about how CR works has focused on ideas of what causes aging. Since these causes themselves are much disputed, I have instead focused my thinking on lessons from simple model organisms, which have emerged from recent genetic studies. These findings can now be integrated with numerous, elegant studies on CR over the decades, which provide a treasure trove of information about physiological changes that are elicited by this regimen.
The natural polyphenolic compound resveratrol was first discovered in the 1940s. In the recent years, this compound received renewed interest as several findings implicated resveratrol as a potent SIRT1 activator capable of mimicking the effects of calorie restriction, and regulating longevity in lower organisms. Given the worldwide increase in age-related metabolic diseases the beneficial effects of resveratrol on metabolism and healthy aging in humans are currently a topic of intense investigation.
The Candida albicans Goa1p is required for mitochondrial functions. In a strain lacking GOA1 (GOA31), respiration, mitochondrial membrane potential, complex I (CI) activity of the electron transport chain, and ATP synthesis are significantly decreased. A shortened chronological life span (CLS) of GOA31 occurs in 2% glucose that is associated with an increase in cell reactive oxidant species (ROS) and apoptosis. We now show that caloric restriction (CR) in media containing 0.5% glucose instead of 2% glucose-SC extends the CLS to the level of parental and gene-reconstituted strains.
Mutation of the template region in the RNA component of telomerase can cause incorporation of mutant DNA sequences at telomeres. We made all 63 mutant sequence combinations at template positions 474-476 of the yeast telomerase RNA, TLC1. Mutants contained faithfully incorporated template mutations, as well as misincorporated sequences in telomeres, a phenotype not previously reported for Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomerase template mutants. Although growth rates and telomere profiles varied widely among the tlc1 mutants, chromosome separation and segregation were always aberrant.
Telomeres, the specialized DNA-protein structures at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, are required for chromosomal stability and integrity. Regulation of the overall length of the telomeric DNA repeat tract is likely to be a key requirement for its various biological roles. We have studied telomere length regulation in the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis, which has long (25 base pairs) homogeneous telomeric repeat units that make it highly suitable for telomere studies.