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Live long and alter

Changes in yeast cells help explain caloric restriction’s longevity boost

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5:42pm, August 25, 2008
GOTHENBURG, Sweden — Less food doesn’t always mean less energy. Restricting the diet of yeast cells makes them live about 30 percent longer than normal, scientists have known. But new research shows that these calorie-restricted cells make just as much ATP — the energy currency of cells — as do yeast cells fed a normal diet.

The cells have just as much energy available, so they are not really starving, says research leader Vladimir Titorenko, a molecular biologist at ConcordiaUniversity in Montreal, Canada.

“It’s not a starvation; it’s just a specific sort of remodeling of the cells’ metabolism in a way that also causes the organism to live longer,” Titorenko says.

Titorenko and his team fed yeast cells a limited diet that contained 30 to 50 percent fewer calories than normal but was still nutritionally complete. In response, the cells cut back on making lipids and instead reroute

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