Organismal ageing is associated with increased chance of morbidity or mortality and it is driven by diverse molecular pathways that are affected by both environmental and genetic factors. The progression of ageing correlates with the gradual accumulation of stressors and damaged biomolecules due to the time-dependent decline of stress resistance and functional capacity, which eventually compromise cellular homeodynamics. As protein machines carry out the majority of cellular functions, proteome quality control is critical for cellular functionality and is carried out through the curating activity of the proteostasis network (PN). Key components of the PN are the two main degradation machineries, namely the ubiquitin-proteasome and autophagy-lysosome pathways along with several stress-responsive pathways, such as that of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), which mobilises cytoprotective genomic responses against oxidative and/or xenobiotic damage. Reportedly, genetic or dietary interventions that activate components of the PN delay ageing in evolutionarily diverse organisms. Natural products (extracts or pure compounds) represent an extraordinary inventory of highly diverse structural scaffolds that offer promising activities towards meeting the challenge of increasing healthspan and/or delaying ageing (e.g., spermidine, quercetin or sulforaphane). Herein, we review those natural compounds that have been found to activate proteostatic and/or anti-stress cellular responses and hence have the potential to delay cellular senescence and/or in vivo ageing.
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