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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Rtg2 protein links metabolism and genome stability in yeast longevity.

Mitochondrial dysfunction induces a signaling pathway, which culminates in changes in the expression of many nuclear genes. This retrograde response, as it is called, extends yeast replicative life span. It also results in a marked increase in the cellular content of extrachromosomal ribosomal DNA circles (ERCs), which can cause the demise of the cell. We have resolved the conundrum of how these two molecular mechanisms of yeast longevity operate in tandem. About 50% of the life-span extension elicited by the retrograde response involves processes other than those that counteract the deleterious effects of ERCs. Deletion of RTG2, a gene that plays a central role in relaying the retrograde response signal to the nucleus, enhances the generation of ERCs in cells with (grande) or in cells without (petite) fully functional mitochondria, and it curtails the life span of each. In contrast, overexpression of RTG2 diminishes ERC formation in both grandes and petites. The excess Rtg2p did not augment the retrograde response, indicating that it was not engaged in retrograde signaling. FOB1, which is known to be required for ERC formation, and RTG2 were found to be in converging pathways for ERC production. RTG2 did not affect silencing of ribosomal DNA in either grandes or petites, which were similar to each other in the extent of silencing at this locus. Silencing of ribosomal DNA increased with replicative age in either the presence or the absence of Rtg2p, distinguishing silencing and ERC accumulation. Our results indicate that the suppression of ERC production by Rtg2p requires that it not be in the process of transducing the retrograde signal from the mitochondrion. Thus, RTG2 lies at the nexus of cellular metabolism and genome stability, coordinating two pathways that have opposite effects on yeast longevity.[1]


  1. Rtg2 protein links metabolism and genome stability in yeast longevity. Borghouts, C., Benguria, A., Wawryn, J., Jazwinski, S.M. Genetics (2004) [Pubmed]
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