Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Starve A Yeast, Sweeten Its Lifespan: Molecular Mechanisms Link Sugar Production And Longevity

Date:
March 30, 2009
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a new energy-making biochemical twist in determining the lifespan of yeast cells, one so valuable to longevity that it is likely to also functions in humans.

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a new energy-making biochemical twist in determining the lifespan of yeast cells, one so valuable to longevity that it is likely to also functions in humans.

Their findings, published in the March 20 issue of Cell, reveal that making glucose is highly influenced by a large enzyme complex already known to fix damaged DNA, and which apparently affects yeast life span through a common chemical process—acetylation.

In a series of experiments, the Hopkins team showed that when continuously acetylated, the so-called NuA4 enzyme complex causes yeast cells to live longer than they would under normal conditions.

The team genetically modified yeast cells, designing one to mimic the constantly acetylated form of the enzyme and another to mimic the constantly de-acetylated form. Then they compared these two mutants to a cell in which nothing was genetically altered. They found that the constantly acetylated form of yeast cell can outlive the unaltered cell by 20 percent and that the constantly de-acetylated form had an 80 percent reduction in its lifespan compared to the unaltered cell.

"Because the NuA4 complex is highly conserved among species, what we've found in yeast translates to humans as well," explains Heng Zhu, Ph.D., an assistant professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "What we've revealed about longevity in yeast perhaps someday can translate to human health," he added.

Using a yeast proteome chip — a glass slide containing 5,800 or more than 80 percent coverage of all of the yeast-encoded proteins — the researchers hunted along this string of proteins to find specific molecular targets of the NuA4 complex.

By analyzing the yeast proteome chip and noting which proteins had an acetyl group stuck to them after adding NuA4, the team identified more than 90 such possible targets. To figure out which of these would naturally be acetylated, the team chose a random set of 20 to test further, ultimately confirming 13 as targets of the NuA4 complex.

More than simply expanding the list of known targets from three to 13, the team provided the first evidence that acetylation controls the activity of an enzyme called Pck1p, critical to sugar production in yeast and probably human cells. This enzyme is also controlled by the enzyme Sir2, which removes the acetyl group. Sir2 is heavily implicated in aging and a number of diseases by recent studies in mammals.

"The new function we identified for Pcklp is regulation of glucose-making, which is what all cells do to survive under conditions of starvation," Zhu explains.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health Roadmap Program, this interdisciplinary study involving biochemistry, proteomics, genetics and computational biology is a product of the High Throughput Biology Center, or HiT Center, of Johns Hopkins' Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences.

In addition to Heng Zhu, authors on the paper are Yu-yi Lin, Jin-ying Lu, Sheng-Ce Tao, Jun Wan, Jiang Qian and Jef D. Boeke, all of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Junmei Zhang and Yingming Zhao of UT Southwestern Medical Center; and Shelley L. Berger, Wendy Walter and Weiwei Dang of The Wistar Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lin et al. Protein Acetylation Microarray Reveals that NuA4 Controls Key Metabolic Target Regulating Gluconeogenesis. Cell, 2009; 136 (6): 1073 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.01.033

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Starve A Yeast, Sweeten Its Lifespan: Molecular Mechanisms Link Sugar Production And Longevity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090324101801.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2009, March 30). Starve A Yeast, Sweeten Its Lifespan: Molecular Mechanisms Link Sugar Production And Longevity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090324101801.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Starve A Yeast, Sweeten Its Lifespan: Molecular Mechanisms Link Sugar Production And Longevity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090324101801.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins