The concentrations of some key metabolic intermediates play essential roles in regulating the longevity of the chronologically aging yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae
. These key metabolites are detected by certain ligand-specific protein sensors that respond to concentration changes of the key metabolites by altering the efficiencies of longevity-defining cellular processes. The concentrations of the key metabolites that affect yeast chronological aging are controlled spatially and temporally. Here, we analyze mechanisms through which the spatiotemporal dynamics of changes in the concentrations of the key metabolites influence yeast chronological lifespan. Our analysis indicates that a distinct set of metabolites can act as second messengers that define the pace of yeast chronological aging. Molecules that can operate both as intermediates of yeast metabolism and as second messengers of yeast chronological aging include reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), glycerol, trehalose, hydrogen peroxide, amino acids, sphingolipids, spermidine, hydrogen sulfide, acetic acid, ethanol, free fatty acids, and diacylglycerol. We discuss several properties that these second messengers of yeast chronological aging have in common with second messengers of signal transduction. We outline how these second messengers of yeast chronological aging elicit changes in cell functionality and viability in response to changes in the nutrient, energy, stress, and proliferation status of the cell.
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