Calorie restriction (CR) extends life span in a wide variety of species. Recent studies suggest that an increase in mitochondrial metabolism mediates CR-induced life span extension. Here we present evidence that Lat1 (dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase), the E2 component of the mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, is a novel metabolic longevity factor in the CR pathway. Deleting the LAT1 gene abolishes life span extension induced by CR. Overexpressing Lat1 extends life span, and this life span extension is not further increased by CR. Similar to CR, life span extension by Lat1 overexpression largely requires mitochondrial respiration, indicating that mitochondrial metabolism plays an important role in CR. Interestingly, Lat1 overexpression does not require the Sir2 family to extend life span, suggesting that Lat1 mediates a branch of the CR pathway that functions in parallel to the Sir2 family. Lat1 is also a limiting longevity factor in nondividing cells in that overexpressing Lat1 extends cell survival during prolonged culture at stationary phase. Our studies suggest that Lat1 overexpression extends life span by increasing metabolic fitness of the cell. CR may therefore also extend life span and ameliorate age-associated diseases by increasing metabolic fitness through regulating central metabolic enzymes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas