Extension of life-span by overexpression of superoxide dismutase and catalase in Drosophila melanogaster

Science. 1994 Feb 25;263(5150):1128-30. doi: 10.1126/science.8108730.


The hypothesis that oxygen free radicals are causally involved in the aging process was tested by a study of the effects of simultaneous overexpression of copper-zinc superoxide dismutase and catalase. As compared to diploid controls, transgenic flies carrying three copies of each of these genes exhibited as much as a one-third extension of life-span, a longer mortality rate doubling time, a lower amount of protein oxidative damage, and a delayed loss in physical performance. Results provide direct support for the free radical hypothesis of aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Catalase / genetics
  • Catalase / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / enzymology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Longevity
  • Male
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / genetics
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism*


  • Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase