Suspended animation extends survival limits of Caenorhabditis elegans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae at low temperature.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Molecular biology of the cell, Volume 21, Issue 13, p.2161-71 (2010)


2010, Animals, Anoxia, Basic Sciences Division, Benomyl, Caenorhabditis elegans, Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins, cell cycle, Cell Shape, Center-Authored Paper, Cold Temperature, Hibernation, Human Biology Division, Microtubule-Organizing Center, Mutation, Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins, OXYGEN, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins, Survival Rate, Tubulin Modulators


The orderly progression through the cell division cycle is of paramount importance to all organisms, as improper progression through the cycle could result in defects with grave consequences. Previously, our lab has shown that model eukaryotes such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Danio rerio all retain high viability after prolonged arrest in a state of anoxia-induced suspended animation, implying that in such a state, progression through the cell division cycle is reversibly arrested in an orderly manner. Here, we show that S. cerevisiae (both wild-type and several cold-sensitive strains) and C. elegans embryos exhibit a dramatic decrease in viability that is associated with dysregulation of the cell cycle when exposed to low temperatures. Further, we find that when the yeast or worms are first transitioned into a state of anoxia-induced suspended animation before cold exposure, the associated cold-induced viability defects are largely abrogated. We present evidence that by imposing an anoxia-induced reversible arrest of the cell cycle, the cells are prevented from engaging in aberrant cell cycle events in the cold, thus allowing the organisms to avoid the lethality that would have occurred in a cold, oxygenated environment.