Passage through stationary phase advances replicative aging in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Kaveh Ashrafi, David Sinclair, Jeffrey I. Gordon, Leonard Guarente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Saccharomyces cerevisiae mother cells undergo an aging program that includes morphologic changes, sterility, redistribution of the Sir transcriptional silencing complex from HM loci and telomeres to the nucleolus, alterations in nucleolar architecture, and accumulation of extrachromosomal ribosomal DNA circles (ERCs). We report here that cells starved for nutrients during prolonged periods in stationary phase show a decrease in generational lifespan when they reenter the cell cycle. This shortened lifespan is not transmitted to progeny cells, indicating that it is not due to irreversible genetic damage. The decrease in the lifespan is accompanied by all of the changes of accelerated aging with the notable exception that ERC accumulation is not augmented compared with generation- matched, nonstarved cells. These results suggest a number of models, including one in which starvation reveals a component of aging that works in parallel with the accumulation of ERCs. Stationary-phase yeast cells may be a useful system for identifying factors that affect aging in other nondividing eukaryotic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9100-9105
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 3 1999


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