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EMBO J. 2010 Mar 3;29(5):981-91. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2009.407. Epub 2010 Jan 14.

Lifespan extension by calorie restriction relies on the Sty1 MAP kinase stress pathway.

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Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain.


Either calorie restriction, loss-of-function of the nutrient-dependent PKA or TOR/SCH9 pathways, or activation of stress defences improves longevity in different eukaryotes. However, the molecular links between glucose depletion, nutrient-dependent pathways and stress responses are unknown. Here, we show that either calorie restriction or inactivation of nutrient-dependent pathways induces lifespan extension in fission yeast, and that such effect is dependent on the activation of the stress-dependent Sty1 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase. During transition to stationary phase in glucose-limiting conditions, Sty1 becomes activated and triggers a transcriptional stress programme, whereas such activation does not occur under glucose-rich conditions. Deletion of the genes coding for the SCH9-homologue, Sck2 or the Pka1 kinases, or mutations leading to constitutive activation of the Sty1 stress pathway increase lifespan under glucose-rich conditions, and importantly such beneficial effects depend ultimately on Sty1. Furthermore, cells lacking Pka1 display enhanced oxygen consumption and Sty1 activation under glucose-rich conditions. We conclude that calorie restriction favours oxidative metabolism, reactive oxygen species production and Sty1 MAP kinase activation, and this stress pathway favours lifespan extension.

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