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Nat Genet. 2003 Apr;33(4):522-6. Epub 2003 Mar 17.

Sir3p phosphorylation by the Slt2p pathway effects redistribution of silencing function and shortened lifespan.

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Department of Molecular Biology, NC20, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Lerner Research Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.

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  • Nat Genet. 2003 May;34(1):113.


An organism's lifespan is modulated by environmental conditions. When nutrients are abundant, the metabolism of many organisms shifts to growth or reproduction at the expense of longer lifespan, whereas a scarcity of nutrients reverses this shift. These correlations suggest that organisms respond to environmental changes by altering their metabolism to promote either reproduction and growth or long life. The only previously reported signaling mechanism involved in this response is the nutrient-responsive insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor pathway. Here we report another pathway that controls the length of yeast lifespan. Commitment to cell growth activates the Slt2p MAP kinase pathway, which phosphorylates the transcriptional silencing protein Sir3p, resulting in a shorter lifespan. Elimination of the Sir3p phosphorylation site at Ser275 extended lifespan by 38%. Lifespan extension occurs by a mechanism that is independent of suppressing rDNA recombination. Thus, Slt2p is an enzymatic regulator of silencing function that couples commitment to cell growth and shorter lifespan.

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