Study: New lifespan extension genes found

September 30, 2005

Researchers at the Harvard Medical School in New Haven, Conn., and the University of California-Davis report finding new genes tied to lifespan.

Drastically reducing calorie intake, or caloric restriction, is known to extend the lifespan of species including yeast, worms and rodents.

Previous research linked a gene called Sir2 with lifespan extension due to caloric restriction, but worms and yeast that lack Sir2 also live longer when put on a tough diet, indicating other genes must be at work.

Now researchers led by David Sinclair at Harvard Medical School and Su-Ju Lin at UC Davis screened for other life-extending genes in yeast. They found a gene called Hst2 that accounts for most of the difference.

Deleting Hst2 and Sir2 blocked most of the beneficial effect of caloric restriction. When Hst2 was overexpressed, so the gene was more active than normal, the yeast lived longer than normal. A third gene, Hst1, appears to act when both Sir2 and Hst2 are missing.

Sir2 and the newly identified Hst genes account for all of the life-prolonging effects of caloric restriction in yeast, Lin said.

The work was published in the Sept. 16 issue of Science.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Sticky when wet: Strong adhesive for wound healing

July 27, 2017

Anyone who has ever tried to put on a Band-Aid when their skin is damp knows that it can be frustrating. Wet skin isn't the only challenge for medical adhesives - the human body is full of blood, serum, and other fluids that ...

Which type of cell to become: Decision through indecision

July 27, 2017

From the moment of fertilization, building a human body involves a series of choices where cells generated by cell division must elect which of the myriad types of cell they will become. How does this decision occur? New ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.