Amino acids whose intracellular levels change most during aging alter chronological lifespan of fission yeast

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Amino acid deprivation or supplementation can affect cellular and organismal lifespan, but we know little about the role of concentration changes in free, intracellular amino acids during aging. Here, we determine free amino-acid levels during chronological aging of non-dividing fission yeast cells. We compare wild-type with long-lived mutant cells that lack the Pka1 protein of the protein kinase A signalling pathway. In wild-type cells, total amino-acid levels decrease during aging, but much less so in pka1 mutants. Two amino acids strongly change as a function of age: glutamine decreases, especially in wild-type cells, while aspartate increases, especially in pka1 mutants. Supplementation of glutamine is sufficient to extend the chronological lifespan of wild-type but not of pka1Δ cells. Supplementation of aspartate, on the other hand, shortens the lifespan of pka1Δ but not of wild-type cells. Our results raise the possibility that certain amino acids are biomarkers of aging, and their concentrations during aging can promote or limit cellular lifespan.

Journal details

Volume 76
Issue number 2
Pages 205-210
Available online
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