Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The retrotransposon Ty1 extends chronological lifespan in Saccharomyces paradoxus by influencing cellular responses to stress
by VanHoute, David Richard, Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2015, 156; 3705650
Abstract (Summary)

Advancing age of the global population is resulting in an increase in the accumulation of age-related pathologies. Many potential molecular and cellular causes of aging are still being debated. Endogenous retroelements are a class of mobile DNA elements that have coexisted in the genomes of virtually every eukaryotic organism for much of evolution. Recent work indicates that retrotransposons are active in advanced age but their impact on aging has not been explored in detail. Evidence is accumulating to suggest that retrotransposon-mediated events are a potential source of genomic change that can influence aging. In this study I took advantage of a unique yeast model system to characterize aging in cells with or without Ty1 retroelements. I identify here a novel role of retroelements in extending yeast chronological lifespan in certain media conditions, rather than observing an anticipated pro-aging effect. This effect was correlated with changes in factors known to influence aging such as mitochondrial function, reactive oxygen species, and sensitivity to a chemical inhibitor of nutrient sensing pathways. These results demonstrate that the presence of these retroelements have unforeseen direct or indirect roles in influencing cellular processes relevant to lifespan. The ability of retrotransposons to regulate cellular functions has not been well investigated, in contrast to the ability of cellular pathways to regulate retrotransposons. The work here broadens our perspective on the role retrotransposons have in host cells to influence certain aspects of eukaryotic aging.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Maxwell, Patrick H.
Commitee: Collins, Cynthia, Conklin, Douglas S., Gilbert, Susan P.
School: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Department: Biology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Genetics
Keywords: Aging, Hu, Retrotransposons, Ty1, Yeast
Publication Number: 3705650
ISBN: 9781321789553
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