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J Vis Exp. 2011 Sep 29;(55). pii: 3030. doi: 10.3791/3030.

Studying age-dependent genomic instability using the S. cerevisiae chronological lifespan model.

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Andrus Gerontology Center, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.


Studies using the Saccharomyces cerevisiae aging model have uncovered life span regulatory pathways that are partially conserved in higher eukaryotes. The simplicity and power of the yeast aging model can also be explored to study DNA damage and genome maintenance as well as their contributions to diseases during aging. Here, we describe a system to study age-dependent DNA mutations, including base substitutions, frame-shift mutations, gross chromosomal rearrangements, and homologous/homeologous recombination, as well as nuclear DNA repair activity by combining the yeast chronological life span with simple DNA damage and mutation assays. The methods described here should facilitate the identification of genes/pathways that regulate genomic instability and the mechanisms that underlie age-dependent DNA mutations and cancer in mammals.

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