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Yeast. 2001 Apr;18(6):499-509.

Chronological lifespan of stationary phase yeast cells; a model for investigating the factors that might influence the ageing of postmitotic tissues in higher organisms.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


Budding yeast can be considered to have two distinct lifespans: (a) a replicative (budding, non-chronological) lifespan, measured as the number of daughters produced by each actively dividing mother cell; and (ii) a chronological lifespan, measured as the ability of stationary cultures to maintain viability over time. In non-dividing cells, essential components that become damaged cannot be diluted out through cell division but must, of necessity, be turned over and renewed. By elevating stress resistances, many of the activities needed for such renewal should be elevated with commensurate reduction in the steady-state levels of damaged cell components. Therefore, chronological lifespan in particular might be expected to relate to stress resistance. For yeast to attain a full chronological lifespan requires the expression of the general stress response. It is more important, though, that the cells should be efficiently adapted to respiratory maintenance, since it is cultures grown to stationary phase on respiratory media that usually display the longest chronological lifespans. For this reason, respiration-adapted cells potentially provide a better model of chronological ageing than cultures pre-grown on glucose.

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