Development, Stress, and Life Span

Science's STKE  06 Jun 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 338, pp. tw195
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3382006tw195

Cell-cycle checkpoint proteins arrest cell division in response to genomic damage and are important in development, but in nondividing cells, these proteins may play a further role in cell maintenance. Olsen et al. show that decreased function of checkpoint proteins in postmitotic, somatic cells of the adult worm triggered increased expression of genes that allow the organism to resist stress. This adaptive response increased organism survival and extended life span by up to 25%. Thus, checkpoint proteins may control whole organism susceptibility to stress, survival, and normal aging.

A. Olsen, M. C. Vantipalli, G. J. Lithgow, Checkpoint proteins control survival of the postmitotic cells in Caenorhabditis elegans. Science 312, 1381-1385 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]