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Science 299 (5611): 1407-1410

Copyright © 2003 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Steroid Control of Longevity in Drosophila melanogaster

Anne F. Simon, Cindy Shih, Antha Mack, Seymour Benzer*

Ecdysone, the major steroid hormone of Drosophila melanogaster, is known for its role in development and reproduction. Flies that are heterozygous for mutations of the ecdysone receptor exhibit increases in life-span and resistance to various stresses, with no apparent deficit in fertility or activity. A mutant involved in the biosynthesis of ecdysone displays similar effects, which are suppressed by feeding ecdysone to the flies. These observations demonstrate the importance of the ecdysone hormonal pathway, a new player in regulating longevity.

Division of Biology 156-29, California Institute of Technology, 1201 California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: benzer{at}

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