Extrachromosomal rDNA circles (ERCs) and recombinant origin-containing plasmids (ARS-plasmids) are thought to reduce replicative life span in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae due to their accumulation in yeast cells by an asymmetric inheritance process known as mother cell bias. Most commonly used laboratory yeast strains contain the naturally occurring, high copy number 2-micron circle plasmid. 2-micron plasmids are known to exhibit stable mitotic inheritance, unlike ARS-plasmids and ERCs, but the fidelity of inheritance during replicative aging and cell senescence has not been studied. This raises the question: do 2-micron circles reduce replicative life span? To address this question we have used a convenient method to cure laboratory yeast strains of the 2-micron plasmid. We find no difference in the replicative life spans of otherwise isogenic cir+ and cir0 strains, with and without the 2-micron plasmid. Consistent with this, we find that 2-micron circles do not accumulate in old yeast cells. These findings indicate that naturally occurring levels of 2-micron plasmids do not adversely affect life span, and that accumulation due to asymmetric inheritance is required for reduction of replicative life span by DNA episomes. © 2005 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Falcon, A. A., Rios, N., & Aris, J. P. (2005). 2-Micron circle plasmids do not reduce yeast life span. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 250(2), 245–251. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.femsle.2005.07.018