Intracellular triacylglycerol (TAG) is a ubiquitous energy storage lipid also involved in lipid homeostasis and signaling. Comparatively, little is known about TAG's role in other cellular functions. Here we show a pro-longevity function of TAG in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In yeast strains derived from natural and laboratory environments a correlation between high levels of TAG and longer chronological lifespan was observed. Increased TAG abundance through the deletion of TAG lipases prolonged chronological lifespan of laboratory strains, while diminishing TAG biosynthesis shortened lifespan without apparently affecting vegetative growth. TAG-mediated lifespan extension was independent of several other known stress response factors involved in chronological aging. Because both lifespan regulation and TAG metabolism are conserved, this cellular pro-longevity function of TAG may extend to other organisms.
Handee, W., Li, X., Hall, K. W., Deng, X., Li, P., Benning, C., … Kuo, M. H. (2016). An Energy-Independent Pro-longevity Function of Triacylglycerol in Yeast. PLoS Genetics, 12(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1005878