The replicative life span of a yeast cell is determined by the number of daughter cells produced. Like other eukaryotic species, yeast replicative mortality follows Gompertz-Makeham kinetics, consistent with the hypothesis that similar processes underlie aging in yeast and aging in higher eukaryotes (Kaeberlein et al., 2001). Several studies have demonstrated that replicative aging is under both genetic and environmental regulation, and the SAGE KE Aging Genes and Interventions Database (Kaeberlein et al., 2002b) (see Chapter 8 on SAGE KE) has catalogued more than fifty genes reported to alter replicative life span in various strain backgrounds. This section describes the current understanding of the most important genetic pathways and molecular mechanisms underlying yeast replicative aging.
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