Insulin/IGF-I-signaling pathway: an evolutionarily conserved mechanism of longevity from yeast to humans

University of Bologna, Bolonia, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism (Impact Factor: 4.09). 12/2003; 285(5):E1064-71. DOI: 10.1152/ajpendo.00296.2003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although the underlying mechanisms of longevity are not fully understood, it is known that mutation in genes that share similarities with those in humans involved in the insulin/insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) signal response pathway can significantly extend life span in diverse species, including yeast, worms, fruit flies, and rodents. Intriguingly, the long-lived mutants, ranging from yeast to mice, share some important phenotypic characteristics, including reduced insulin signaling, enhanced sensitivity to insulin, and reduced IGF-I plasma levels. Such genetic homologies and phenotypic similarities between insulin/IGF-I pathway mutants raise the possibility that the fundamental mechanism of aging may be evolutionarily conserved from yeast to mammals. Very recent findings also provide novel and intriguing evidence for the involvement of insulin and IGF-I in the control of aging and longevity in humans. In this study, we focus on how the insulin/IGF-I pathway controls yeast, nematode, fruit fly, and rodent life spans and how it is related to the aging process in humans to outline the prospect of a unifying mechanism in the genetics of longevity.

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