Extended Life-Span and Stress Resistance in the Drosophila Mutant methuselah

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Abstract

Toward a genetic dissection of the processes involved in aging, a screen for gene mutations that extend life-span in Drosophila melanogaster was performed. The mutant line methuselah (mth) displayed approximately 35 percent increase in average life-span and enhanced resistance to various forms of stress, including starvation, high temperature, and dietary paraquat, a free-radical generator. The mth gene predicted a protein with homology to several guanosine triphosphate-binding protein-coupled seven-transmembrane domain receptors. Thus, the organism may use signal transduction pathways to modulate stress response and life-span.

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