, Volume 280, Issue 5, pp 365-374
Date: 17 Sep 2008

Podospora anserina: a model organism to study mechanisms of healthy ageing

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The filamentous ascomycete Podospora anserina has been extensively studied as an experimental ageing model for more than 50 years. As a result, a huge body of data has been accumulated and various molecular pathways have been identified as part of a molecular network involved in the control of ageing and life span. The aim of this review is to summarize data on P. anserina ageing, including aspects like respiration, cellular copper homeostasis, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) stability/instability, mitochondrial dynamics, apoptosis, translation efficiency and pathways directed against oxidative stress. It becomes clear that manipulation of several of these pathways bears the potential to extend the healthy period of time, the health span, within the life time of the fungus. Here we put special attention on recent work aimed to identify and characterize this type of long-lived P. anserina mutants. The study of the molecular pathways which are modified in these mutants can be expected to provide important clues for the elucidation of the mechanistic basis of this type of ‘healthy ageing’ at the organism level.

Communicated by T. Nyström.