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A mathematical model of ageing in yeast

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Colin GillespieORCiD, Dr Carole Proctor, Professor Richard Boys, Dr Daryl Shanley, Professor Darren Wilkinson, Emeritus Professor Thomas Kirkwood


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Budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is commonly used as a system to study cellular ageing. Yeast mother cells are capable of only a limited number of divisions before they undergo senescence, whereas newly formed daughters usually have their replicative age "reset" to zero. Accumulation of extrachromosomal ribosomal DNA circles (ERCs) appears to be an important contributor to ageing in yeast, and we describe a mathematical model that we developed to examine this process. We show that an age-related accumulation of ERCs readily explains the observed features of yeast ageing but that in order to match the experimental survival curves quantitatively, it is necessary that the probability of ERC formation increases with the age of the cell. This implies that some other mechanism(s), in addition to ERC accumulation, must underlie yeast ageing. We also demonstrate that the model can be used to gain insight into how an extra copy of the Sir2 gene might extend lifespan and we show how the model makes novel, testable predictions about patterns of age-specific mortality in yeast populations. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gillespie C, Proctor CJ, Boys R, Shanley D, Wilkinson D, Kirkwood T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Theoretical Biology

Year: 2004

Volume: 229

Issue: 2

Pages: 189-196

Print publication date: 21/07/2004

ISSN (print): 0022-5193

ISSN (electronic): 1095-8541

Publisher: Academic Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2004.03.015

PubMed id: 15207474


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Funder referenceFunder name
BEP17042Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council