Tor-Sch9 deficiency activates catabolism of the ketone body-like acetic acid to promote trehalose accumulation and longevity
Double-mutant cells of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae harboring the gcs1-1 and sed1-1 mutations are conditionally defective (cold-sensitive) only for reentry into the mitotic cycle from stationary phase. If already proliferating at the permissive temperature (29°C), these reentry-mutant cells continue to proliferate when transferred to the restrictive temperature of 14°C, but under these conditions reentry-mutant cells lose mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). In addition, upon exhaustion of the nutrient supply at 14°C, these reentry-mutant cells entered stationary phase at a decreased cell concentration and did not accumulate the reserve carbohydrates trehalose and glycogen. Both of these deficiencies were due to the loss of mtDNA, as shown by the responses of wild-type cells also lacking mtDNA. Mitochondrial status did not affect other aspects of the reentry-mutant phenotype. Although mitochondrial activity and the accumulation of carbohydrate reserves are typical features of cells in stationary phase, the reentry-mutant phenotype reveals that neither entry into nor exit from stationary phase need involve mitochondrial function.