Calorie restriction is a dietary regimen capable of extending life span in a variety of multicellular organisms. A yeast model of calorie restriction has been developed in which limiting the concentration of glucose in the growth media of Saccharomyces cerevisiae leads to enhanced replicative and chronological longevity. Since S. cerevisiae are Crabtree-positive cells that present repression of aerobic catabolism when grown in high glucose concentrations, we investigated if this phenomenon participates in life span regulation in yeast. S. cerevisiae only exhibited an increase in chronological life span when incubated in limited concentrations of glucose. Limitation of galactose, raffinose or glycerol plus ethanol as substrates did not enhance life span. Furthermore, in Kluyveromyces lactis, a Crabtree-negative yeast, glucose limitation did not promote an enhancement of respiratory capacity nor a decrease in reactive oxygen species formation, as is characteristic of conditions of caloric restriction in S. cerevisiae. In addition, K. lactis did not present an increase in longevity when incubated in lower glucose concentrations. Altogether, our results indicate that release from repression of aerobic catabolism is essential for the beneficial effects of glucose limitation in the yeast calorie restriction model. Potential parallels between these changes in yeast and hormonal regulation of respiratory rates in animals are discussed.
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