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Biogerontology. 2011 Apr;12(2):167-75. doi: 10.1007/s10522-010-9305-4. Epub 2010 Oct 27.

Linking cell polarity, aging and rejuvenation.

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The Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Multidisciplinary Research on Aging, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.


Cell polarity is a universal biological phenomenon. While much is known about the establishment and maintenance of cell polarity, its role in aging and age-related diseases remains to be fully addressed. Nonetheless, the exciting findings in the budding yeast indicate that the polar processes are intimately linked to both aging of the mother cell and rejuvenation of the daughter cell. This includes polar segregation of damaged proteins and ERCs due to the septin-based diffusion barrier, asymmetric inheritance of MDR proteins and retrograde protein transport. The principal, still unexplored question is whether the same polar mechanisms work during the asymmetric division of germ and stem cells, allowing their rejuvenation across generations. Further strengthening the links between cell polarity and aging is a large number of common genes associated with both polarity and longevity. Given a strong similarity between mechanisms of cell polarity in yeast and higher eukaryotes, the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae could serve as a convenient model system for studying the links between the cell polarity, aging and rejuvenation. Consequently, exploring the potential mammalian equivalents of yeast-established polarity mechanisms could be the focus for future biogerontological investigations.

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