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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2916985, 15 pages
Review Article

Mechanisms Underlying the Essential Role of Mitochondrial Membrane Lipids in Yeast Chronological Aging

Department of Biology, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada H4B 1R6

Correspondence should be addressed to Vladimir I. Titorenko

Received 30 January 2017; Accepted 18 April 2017; Published 16 May 2017

Academic Editor: Vítor Costa

Copyright © 2017 Younes Medkour et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The functional state of mitochondria is vital to cellular and organismal aging in eukaryotes across phyla. Studies in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have provided evidence that age-related changes in some aspects of mitochondrial functionality can create certain molecular signals. These signals can then define the rate of cellular aging by altering unidirectional and bidirectional communications between mitochondria and other organelles. Several aspects of mitochondrial functionality are known to impact the replicative and/or chronological modes of yeast aging. They include mitochondrial electron transport, membrane potential, reactive oxygen species, and protein synthesis and proteostasis, as well as mitochondrial synthesis of iron-sulfur clusters, amino acids, and NADPH. Our recent findings have revealed that the composition of mitochondrial membrane lipids is one of the key aspects of mitochondrial functionality affecting yeast chronological aging. We demonstrated that exogenously added lithocholic bile acid can delay chronological aging in yeast because it elicits specific changes in mitochondrial membrane lipids. These changes allow mitochondria to operate as signaling platforms that delay yeast chronological aging by orchestrating an institution and maintenance of a distinct cellular pattern. In this review, we discuss molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the essential role of mitochondrial membrane lipids in yeast chronological aging.