Metabolism is deeply intertwined with aging. Effects of metabolic interventions on aging have been explained with intracellular metabolism, growth control, and signaling. Studying chronological aging in yeast, we reveal a so far overlooked metabolic property that influences aging via the exchange of metabolites. We observed that metabolites exported by young cells are re-imported by chronologically aging cells, resulting in cross-generational metabolic interactions. Then, we used self-establishing metabolically cooperating communities (SeMeCo) as a tool to increase metabolite exchange and observed significant lifespan extensions. The longevity of the SeMeCo was attributable to metabolic reconfigurations in methionine consumer cells. These obtained a more glycolytic metabolism and increased the export of protective metabolites that in turn extended the lifespan of cells that supplied them with methionine. Our results establish metabolite exchange interactions as a determinant of cellular aging and show that metabolically cooperating cells can shape the metabolic environment to extend their lifespan.
Keywords: chronological aging; eukaryotic longevity; metabolic microenvironment; metabolite exchange interactions.
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