Simple model systems have played an important role in the discovery of fundamental mechanisms of aging. Studies in yeast, worms and fruit flies have resulted in the identification of proteins and signalling pathways that regulate stress resistance and longevity. New findings indicate that these pathways may have evolved to prevent damage and postpone aging during periods of starvation and may be conserved from yeast to mammals. We will review the yeast S. cerevisiae model system with emphasis on the chronological life span as a model system to study aging and the regulation of stress resistance in eukaryotes.
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