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Characterization of long living yeast deletion mutants that lack mitochondrial metabolism genes DSS1, PPA2 and AFG3
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Molecular mechanisms of aging and longevity are still mostly unknown. Mitochondria play central roles in cellular metabolism and aging. In this study, we identified three deletion mutants of mitochondrial metabolism genes (ppa2 Delta, dss1 Delta, and afg3 Delta) that live longer than wild-type cells. These long-lived cells harbored significantly decreased amount of mitochondria] DNA (mtDNA) and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Compared to the serpentine nature of wild-type mitochondria, a different dynamics and distribution pattern of mitochondria were observed in the mutants. Both young and old long-lived cells produced relatively low but adequate levels of ATP for cellular activities. The status of the retrograde signaling was checked by expression of CIT2 gene and found activated in long-lived mutants. The mutant cells were also profiled for their gene expression patterns, and genes that were differentially regulated were determined. All long-lived cells comprised similar pleiotropic phenotype regarding mitochondrial dynamics and functions. Thus, this study suggests that DSS1, PPA2, and AFG3 genes modulate the lifespan by altering the mitochondrial morphology and functions.