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Mech Ageing Dev. 2010 Jan;131(1):60-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2009.12.002. Epub 2009 Dec 22.

Calorie restriction causes healthy life span extension in the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina.

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Laboratory of Genetics, Department of Plant Sciences, Wageningen University, Arboretumlaan 4, 6703BD Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Although most fungi appear to be immortal, some show systemic senescence within a distinct time frame. Podospora anserina for example shows an irreversible growth arrest within weeks of culturing associated with a destabilization of the mitochondrial genome. Here, we show that calorie restriction (CR), a regimen of under-nutrition without malnutrition, increases not only life span but also forestalls the aging-related decline in fertility. Similar to respiratory chain deficiencies the life span extension is associated with lower levels of intracellular H(2)O(2) measurements and a stabilization of the mitochondrial genome. Unlike respiratory chain deficiencies, CR cultures have a wild-type-like OXPHOS machinery similar to that of well-fed cultures as shown by native electrophoresis of mitochondrial protein complexes. Together, these data indicate that life span extension via CR is fundamentally different from that via respiratory chain mutations: Whereas the latter can be seen as a pathology, the former promotes healthy life span extension and may be an adaptive response.

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