Mechanisms of life span extension by rapamycin in the fruit fly drosophila melanogaster

Ivana Bjedov, Janne M. Toivonen, Fiona Kerr, Cathy Slack, Jake Jacobson, Andrea Foley, Linda Partridge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway is a major nutrient-sensing pathway that, when genetically downregulated, increases life span in evolutionarily diverse organisms including mammals. The central component of this pathway, TOR kinase, is the target of the inhibitory drug rapamycin, a highly specific and well-described drug approved for human use. We show here that feeding rapamycin to adult Drosophila produces the life span extension seen in some TOR mutants. Increase in life span by rapamycin was associated with increased resistance to both starvation and paraquat. Analysis of the underlying mechanisms revealed that rapamycin increased longevity specifically through the TORC1 branch of the TOR pathway, through alterations to both autophagy and translation. Rapamycin could increase life span of weak insulin/Igf signaling (IIS) pathway mutants and of flies with life span maximized by dietary restriction, indicating additional mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalCell metabolism
Issue number1
Early online date5 Jan 2010
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2010

Bibliographical note

Open access under CC BY license.


  • humdisease
  • proteins chemistry


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