Editors' ChoiceLife-span

Less Steroid Leads to Longer Life

Science's STKE  04 Mar 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 172, pp. tw93-TW93
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.172.tw93

Ecdysone is a steroid hormone best known for triggering the transition from larvae to adult in many insects. The biosynthetic machinery for ecdysone operates in the adult, too, but its purpose has been unclear. Simon et al. show that deficiencies in the ecdysone signaling system of adult Drosophila--either in biosynthesis or in its receptor--lead to flies with extended life-spans and an increased resistance to stress, without concomitant decreases in fertility or activity. Thus, steroids may be important players in the endocrine network that affects life-span in flies and other organisms.

A. F. Simon, C. Shih, A. Mack, S. Benzer, Steroid control of longevity in Drosophila melanogaster. Science 299, 1407-1410 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]