Fu X-H, Meng F-L, Hu Y, Zhou J-Q

Aging Cell. 2008 Oct;7(5):746–57

The unicellular eukaryotic organisms represent the popular model systems to understand aging in eukaryotes. Candida albicans, a polymorphic fungus, appears to be another distinctive unicellular aging model in addition to the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The two types of Candida cells, yeast (blastospore) form and hyphal (filamentous) form, have similar replicative lifespan. Taking the advantage of morphologic changes, we are able to obtain cells of different ages. Old Candida cells tend to accumulate glycogen and oxidatively damaged proteins. Deletion of the SIR2 gene causes a decrease of lifespan, while insertion of an extra copy of SIR2 extends lifespan, indicating that like in S. cerevisiae, Sir2 regulates cellular aging in C. albicans. Interestingly, Sir2 deletion does not result in the accumulation of extra-chromosomal rDNA molecules, but influences the retention of oxidized proteins in mother cells, suggesting that the extra-chromosomal rDNA molecules may not be associated with cellular aging in C. albicans. This novel aging model, which allows efficient large-scale isolation of old cells, may facilitate biochemical characterizations and genomics/proteomics studies of cellular aging, and help to verify the agingpathways observed in other organisms including S. cerevisiae.