It has long been understood that many of the same manipulations that increase longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans also increase resistance to various acute stressors, and vice-versa; moreover these findings hold in more complex organisms as well. Nevertheless, the mechanistic relationship between these phenotypes remains unclear, and in many cases the overlap between stress resistance and longevity is inexact. Here we review the known connections between stress resistance and longevity, discuss instances in which these connections are absent, and summarize the theoretical explanations that have been posited for these phenomena. deletions in Caenorhabditis elegans alter the localization of intracellular reactive oxygen species and show molecular compensation. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2009; 64:530-539. 30. McCord JM, Fridovich I. Superoxide dismutase. an enzymic function for erythrocuprein (hemocuprein). J Biol Chem. 1969; 244:6049-6055. 31. Walker TK, Tosic J. The ;catalase test', with special reference to acetobacter species. Biochem J. 1943; 37:10-12. 32. Mills GC. The purification and properties of glutathione peroxidase of erythrocytes. J Biol Chem. 1959; 234:502-506. 33. Brenot A, King KY, Janowiak B, Griffith O, Caparon MG. Contribution of glutathione peroxidase to the virulence of streptococcus pyogenes. Infect Immun. 2004; 72:408-413. 34. Larsen PL. Aging and resistance to oxidative damage in. A redox-sensitive peroxiredoxin that is important for longevity has tissue-and stress-specific roles in stress resistance.
Caloric restriction extends lifespan in numerous species. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae this effect requires Sir2 (ref. 1), a member of the sirtuin family of NAD+-dependent deacetylases. Sirtuin activating compounds (STACs) can promote the survival of human cells and extend the replicative lifespan of yeast. Here we show that resveratrol and other STACs activate sirtuins from Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, and extend the lifespan of these animals without reducing fecundity. Lifespan extension is dependent on functional Sir2, and is not observed when nutrients are restricted. Together these data indicate that STACs slow metazoan ageing by mechanisms that may be related to caloric restriction.
Calorie restriction extends lifespan in a broad range of organisms, from yeasts to mammals. Numerous hypotheses have been proposed to explain this phenomenon, including decreased oxidative damage and altered energy metabolism. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, lifespan extension by calorie restriction requires the NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase, Sir2 (ref. 1). We have recently shown that Sir2 and its closest human homologue SIRT1, a p53 deacetylase, are strongly inhibited by the vitamin B3 precursor nicotinamide. Here we show that increased expression of PNC1 (pyrazinamidase/nicotinamidase 1), which encodes an enzyme that deaminates nicotinamide, is both necessary and sufficient for lifespan extension by calorie restriction and low-intensity stress. We also identify PNC1 as a longevity gene that is responsive to all stimuli that extend lifespan. We provide evidence that nicotinamide depletion is sufficient to activate Sir2 and that this is the mechanism by which PNC1 regulates longevity. We conclude that yeast lifespan extension by calorie restriction is the consequence of an active cellular response to a low-intensity stress and speculate that nicotinamide might regulate critical cellular processes in higher organisms.
Yeast deprived of nutrients exhibit a marked life span extension that requires the activity of the NAD ؉ -dependent histone deacetylase, Sir2p. Here we show that increased dosage of NPT1, encoding a nicotinate phosphoribosyltransferase critical for the NAD ؉ salvage pathway, increases Sir2-dependent silencing, stabilizes the rDNA locus, and extends yeast replicative life span by up to 60%. Both NPT1 and SIR2 provide resistance against heat shock, demonstrating that these genes act in a more general manner to promote cell survival. We show that Npt1 and a previously uncharacterized salvage pathway enzyme, Nma2, are both concentrated in the nucleus, indicating that a significant amount of NAD ؉ is regenerated in this organelle. Additional copies of the salvage pathway genes, PNC1, NMA1, and NMA2, increase telomeric and rDNA silencing, implying that multiple steps affect the rate of the pathway. Although SIR2-dependent processes are enhanced by additional NPT1, steady-state NAD ؉ levels and NAD ؉ /NADH ratios remain unaltered. This finding suggests that yeast life span extension may be facilitated by an increase in the availability of NAD ؉ to Sir2, although not through a simple increase in steady-state levels. We propose a model in which increased flux through the NAD ؉ salvage pathway is responsible for the Sir2-dependent extension of life span.
Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile genetic elements, highly enriched in heterochromatin, that constitute a large percentage of the DNA content of eukaryotic genomes. Aging in Drosophila melanogaster is characterized by loss of repressive heterochromatin structure and loss of silencing of reporter genes in constitutive heterochromatin regions. Using next-generation sequencing, we found that transcripts of many genes native to heterochromatic regions and TEs increased with age in fly heads and fat bodies. A dietary restriction regimen, known to extend life span, repressed the age-related increased expression of genes located in heterochromatin, as well as TEs. We also observed a corresponding age-associated increase in TE transposition in fly fat body cells that was delayed by dietary restriction. Furthermore, we found that manipulating genes known to affect heterochromatin structure, including overexpression of Sir2, Su(var)3-9, and Dicer-2, as well as decreased expression of Adar, mitigated age-related increases in expression of TEs. Increasing expression of either Su(var)3-9 or Dicer-2 also led to an increase in life span. Mutation of Dicer-2 led to an increase in DNA double-strand breaks. Treatment with the reverse transcriptase inhibitor 3TC resulted in decreased TE transposition as well as increased life span in TE-sensitized Dicer-2 mutants. Together, these data support the retrotransposon theory of aging, which hypothesizes that epigenetically silenced TEs become deleteriously activated as cellular defense and surveillance mechanisms break down with age. Furthermore, interventions that maintain repressive heterochromatin and preserve TE silencing may prove key to preventing damage caused by TE activation and extending healthy life span.aging | heterochromatin | transposable elements | dietary restriction | silencing
E2F transcription factors play an important role in the regulation of cell cycle progression. We report here the cloning and characterization of an additional member of this family, E2F-6. E2F-6 lacks pocket protein binding and transactivation domains, and it is a potent transcriptional repressor that contains a modular repression domain at its carboxyl terminus. Overproduction of E2F-6 had no specific effect on cell cycle progression in asynchronously growing Saos2 and NIH 3T3 cells, but it inhibited entry into S phase of NIH 3T3 cells stimulated to exit G0. Taken together, these data suggest that E2F-6 can regulate a subset of E2F-dependent genes whose products are required for entry into the cell cycle but not for normal cell cycle progression.
SummaryChromatin structure affects the accessibility of DNA to transcription, repair, and replication. Changes in chromatin structure occur during development, but less is known about changes during aging. We examined the state of chromatin structure and its effect on gene expression during aging in Drosophila at the whole genome and cellular level using whole-genome tiling microarrays of activation and repressive chromatin marks, whole-genome transcriptional microarrays and single-cell immunohistochemistry. We found dramatic reorganization of chromosomal regions with age. Mapping of H3K9me3 and HP1 signals to fly chromosomes reveals in young flies the expected high enrichment in the pericentric regions, the 4th chromosome, and islands of facultative heterochromatin dispersed throughout the genome. With age, there is a striking reduction in this enrichment resulting in a nearly equivalent level of H3K9me3 and HP1 in the pericentric regions, the 4th chromosome, facultative heterochromatin, and euchromatin. These extensive changes in repressive chromatin marks are associated with alterations in age-related gene expression. Large-scale changes in repressive marks with age are further substantiated by single-cell immunohistochemistry that shows changes in nuclear distribution of H3K9me3 and HP1 marks with age. Such epigenetic changes are expected to directly or indirectly impinge upon important cellular functions such as gene expression, DNA repair, and DNA replication. The combination of genome-wide approaches such as whole-genome chromatin immunoprecipitation and transcriptional studies in conjunction with single-cell immunohistochemistry as shown here provide a first step toward defining how changes in chromatin may contribute to the process of aging in metazoans.
SummaryBarring genetic manipulation, the diet known as calorie restriction (CR) is currently the only way to slow down ageing in mammals. The fact that CR works on most species, even microorganisms, implies a conserved underlying mechanism. Recent findings in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae indicate that CR extends lifespan because it is a mild biological stressor that activates Sir2, a key component of yeast longevity and the founding member of the sirtuin family of deacetylases. The sirtuin family appears to have first arisen in primordial eukaryotes, possibly to help them cope with adverse conditions. Today they are found in plants, yeast, and animals and may underlie the remarkable health benefits of CR. Interestingly, a class of polyphenolic molecules produced by plants in response to stress can activate the sirtuins from yeast and metazoans. At least in the case of yeast, these molecules greatly extend lifespan by mimicking CR. One explanation for this surprising observation is the 'xenohormesis hypothesis', the idea that organisms have evolved to respond to stress signalling molecules produced by other species in their environment. In this way, organisms can prepare in advance for a deteriorating environment and/or loss of food supply. Calorie restrictionOver 70 years ago, McCay and colleagues observed that rats fed 40% fewer calories tend to live longer and look younger and healthier than well-fed animals. In numerous subsequent studies it has been documented that calorie restriction (CR) delays most diseases of ageing including cancer, atherosclerosis, type II diabetes and even neurodegeneration. As a result, there is intense interest in how CR works at the molecular level and in finding small molecules that can mimic its effects.
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