The model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae is providing new insights into the molecular and cellular changes that are related to aging. The yeast protein Sir2p (Silent Information Regulator 2) is a histone deacetylase involved in transcriptional silencing and the control of genomic stability. Recent results have led to the identification of Sir2p as a crucial determinant of yeast life span. Dosage, intracellular localization, and activity of Sir2p all have important effects on yeast longevity. For instance, calorie restriction apparently increases yeast life span by increasing Sir2p activity. Since Sir2p-related proteins have been identified in many prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, the fundamental principles derived from the studies in yeast may prove valuable in directing our future research toward an understanding of the mechanisms of aging in higher eukaryotes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
- Cell Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Developmental Biology
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Plant Science