Molecular advances of the past decade have led to the discovery of a myriad of 'aging genes' (methuselah, Indy, InR, Chico, superoxide dismutase) that extend Drosophila lifespan by up to 85%. Despite this life extension, these mutants are no longer lived than at least some recently wild-caught strains. Typically, long-lived mutants are identified in relatively short-lived genetic backgrounds, and their effects are rarely tested in genetic backgrounds other than the one in which they were isolated or derived.
BACKGROUND: While studying long-lived mutants has advanced our understanding of the processes involved in ageing, the mechanisms underlying natural variation in lifespan and ageing rate remain largely unknown. Here, we characterise genome-wide expression patterns of a long-lived, natural variant of Drosophila melanogaster resulting from selection for starvation resistance (SR) and compare it with normal-lived control flies (C).
Across phyla, aging is associated with reduced sleep duration and efficiency. Both aging and sleep involve complex genetic architecture and diverse cell types and are heavily influenced by diet and environment. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanisms of age-dependent changes in sleep will require integrative approaches that go beyond examining these two processes independently. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, provides a genetically amenable system for dissecting the molecular basis of these processes.
BACKGROUND: Juvenile hormone (JH) has been demonstrated to control adult lifespan in a number of non-model insects where surgical removal of the corpora allata eliminates the hormone's source. In contrast, little is known about how juvenile hormone affects adult Drosophila melanogaster. Previous work suggests that insulin signaling may modulate Drosophila aging in part through its impact on juvenile hormone titer, but no data yet address whether reduction of juvenile hormone is sufficient to control Drosophila life span.
Aging is genetically determined and environmentally modulated. In a study of longevity in the adult fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, we found that five independent P-element insertional mutations in a single gene resulted in a near doubling of the average adult life-span without a decline in fertility or physical activity. Sequence analysis revealed that the product of this gene, named Indy (for I'm not dead yet), is most closely related to a mammalian sodium dicarboxylate cotransporter-a membrane protein that transports Krebs cycle intermediates.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Caloric restriction extends life span in a variety of species, highlighting the importance of energy balance in aging. A new longevity gene, Indy (for I'm not dead yet), which doubles the average life span of flies without a loss of fertility or physical activity, was postulated to extend life by affecting intermediary metabolism.