Subfield history: use of model organisms in the search for human aging genes

Sci Aging Knowledge Environ. 2003 Feb 12;2003(6):RE1. doi: 10.1126/sageke.2003.6.re1.


The National Institute on Aging (NIA) started a program in 1993 to identify genes involved in the regulation of longevity in a variety of species, including yeast, nematodes, fruit flies, and mice. The initial success of this program has attracted the interest of many investigators working with these organisms. Of primary interest are single-gene mutants that have identified genes and processes involved in longevity regulation across species. These processes include the insulin-like signaling pathway, stress resistance, and most recently, chromosome and nuclear architecture. Mutations in genes that regulate these processes indirectly are also being identified in this program. The ultimate goal of this program is to extend these results to humans to identify the major biological risk factors for age-related decline of function in human physiological systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Humans
  • Longevity / genetics*
  • Mice / genetics
  • Models, Animal
  • Mutation