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Dev Cell. 2001 Nov;1(5):633-44.

Mitochondrial electron transport is a key determinant of life span in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205 Avenue Dr Penfield, H3A 1B1, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Increased protection from reactive oxygen species (ROS) is believed to increase life span. However, it has not been clearly demonstrated that endogenous ROS production actually limits normal life span. We have identified a mutation in the Caenorhabditis elegans iron sulfur protein (isp-1) of mitochondrial complex III, which results in low oxygen consumption, decreased sensitivity to ROS, and increased life span. Furthermore, combining isp-1(qm150) with a mutation (daf-2) that increases resistance to ROS does not result in any significant further increase in adult life span. These findings indicate that both isp-1 and daf-2 mutations increase life span by lowering oxidative stress and result in the maximum life span increase that can be produced in this way.

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