Saccharomyces cerevisiae has directly or indirectly contributed to the identification of arguably more mammalian genes that affect aging than any other model organism. Aging in yeast is assayed primarily by measurement of replicative or chronological life span. Here, we review the genes and mechanisms implicated in these two aging model systems and key remaining issues that need to be addressed for their optimization. Because of its well-characterized genome that is remarkably amenable to genetic manipulation and high-throughput screening procedures, S. cerevisiae will continue to serve as a leading model organism for studying pathways relevant to human aging and disease.
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