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Keywords:

  • chronological lifespan;
  • coenzyme Q;
  • coenzyme Q reductase;
  • dietary restriction;
  • NQR1;
  • Plasma membrane;
  • replicative lifespan

Summary

The activity and expression of plasma membrane NADH coenzyme Q reductase is increased by calorie restriction (CR) in rodents. Although this effect is well-established and is necessary for CR's ability to delay aging, the mechanism is unknown. Here we show that the Saccharomyces cerevisiae homolog, NADH-Coenzyme Q reductase 1 (NQR1), resides at the plasma membrane and when overexpressed extends both replicative and chronological lifespan. We show that NQR1 extends replicative lifespan in a SIR2-dependent manner by shifting cells towards respiratory metabolism. Chronological lifespan extension, in contrast, occurs via an SIR2-independent decrease in ethanol production. We conclude that NQR1 is a key mediator of lifespan extension by CR through its effects on yeast metabolism and discuss how these findings could suggest a function for this protein in lifespan extension in mammals.