July 26, 2018
Most cell types can only undergo a limited number of cell divisions, a process also referred to as cellular aging. What causes old cells to stop dividing has been unclear. In work published by Genes & Development, researchers in the Amon Laboratory identified aging factors that accumulate in old budding yeast mother cells and described how they interfere with cell division. Spontaneous transmission of these aging factors to daughter cells results in rejuvenation of the mother cell but causes death of their daughter. Because the cell division errors that occur in old yeast and human cells are remarkably similar, this research could help illuminate the molecular processes that cause aging of human cells.