In eukaryotic cells, Ca(2+)-triggered signaling pathways are used to regulate a wide variety of cellular processes. Calcineurin, a highly conserved Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase, plays key roles in the regulation of diverse biological processes in organisms ranging from yeast to humans. We isolated a mutant of the SIR3 gene, implicated in the regulation of life span, as a suppressor of the Ca(2+) sensitivity of zds1Δ cells in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Therefore, we investigated a relationship between Ca(2+) signaling and life span in yeast. Here we show that Ca(2+) affected the replicative life span (RLS) of yeast. Increased external and intracellular Ca(2+) levels caused a reduction in their RLS. Consistently, the increase in calcineurin activity by either the zds1 deletion or the constitutively activated calcineurin reduced RLS. Indeed, the shortened RLS of zds1Δ cells was suppressed by the calcineurin deletion. Further, the calcineurin deletion per se promoted aging without impairing the gene silencing typically observed in short-lived sir mutants, indicating that calcineurin plays an important role in a regulation of RLS even under normal growth condition. Thus, our results indicate that Ca(2+) homeostasis/Ca(2+) signaling are required to regulate longevity in budding yeast.
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