In most eukaryotic cells mitochondria are essential organelles involved in a great variety of cellular functions. One of the physiological processes linked to mitochondria is aging, a gradual process of damage accumulation that eventually promotes cell death. Aging depends on a balance between mitochondrial biogenesis, function and degradation. It has been previously shown that Tor1, Sch9 and Ras2 are activated in response to nutrient availability and regulate cell growth and division. A deficiency in any of these genes promotes lifespan extension and cell protection during oxidative and heat shock stress. In this work we report that in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the uncharacterized mitochondrial protein Slm35 is functionally linked with the TOR signaling pathway. A Δtor1Δslm35 strain shows a severe decrease in lifespan and is unable to contend with oxidative and heat shock stresses. Specifically, this mutant shows decreased catalase activity indicating a misregulation of ROS scavenging mechanisms. In this study we show that Slm35 is also relevant for mitochondrial network dynamics and mitophagy. The results presented here suggest that Slm35 plays an important role connecting mitochondrial function with cytosolic responses and cell adaptation to stress and aging.
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