Drug synergy drives conserved pathways to increase fission yeast lifespan

Xinhe Huang, Markos Leggas, Robert C. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Aging occurs over time with gradual and progressive loss of physiological function. Strategies to reduce the rate of functional loss and mitigate the subsequent onset of deadly agerelated diseases are being sought. We demonstrated previously that a combination of rapamycin and myriocin reduces age-related functional loss in the Baker 's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and produces a synergistic increase in lifespan. Here we show that the same drug combination also produces a synergistic increase in the lifespan of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and does so by controlling signal transduction pathways conserved across a wide evolutionary time span ranging from yeasts to mammals. Pathways include the target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) protein kinase, the protein kinase A (PKA) and a stress response pathway, which in fission yeasts contains the Sty1 protein kinase, an ortholog of the mammalian p38 MAP kinase, a type of Stress Activated Protein Kinase (SAPK). These results along with previous studies in S. cerevisiae support the premise that the combination of rapamycin and myriocin enhances lifespan by regulating signaling pathways that couple nutrient and environmental conditions to cellular processes that fine-tune growth and stress protection in ways that foster long term survival. The molecular mechanisms for fine-tuning are probably species-specific, but since they are driven by conserved nutrient and stress sensing pathways, the drug combination may enhance survival in other organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0121877
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 18 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Huang et al.

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