Extension of Life-Span by Overexpression of Superoxide Dismutase and Catalase in Drosophila melanogaster

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The hypothesis that oxygen free radicals are causally involved in the aging process was tested by a study of the effects of simultaneous overexpression of copper-zinc superoxide dismutase and catalase. As compared to diploid controls, transgenic flies carrying three copies of each of these genes exhibited as much as a one-third extension of life-span, a longer mortality rate doubling time, a lower amount of protein oxidative damage, and a delayed loss in physical performance. Results provide direct support for the free radical hypothesis of aging.

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