Indefinite life extension and the quest to eliminating ageing has spurred research in this area and led to the development of numerous screens for anti-ageing therapeutics. Scalability and quick turn-around are major limitations for such approaches.
A recent paper in Cell Reports describe a rapid, automated and high-throughput method to measure replicative lifespan in the short-lived model organism, yeast. The approach uses flow cytometry and combinatorial staining with fluorescein-NHS ester cell surface labeling (green), the vital dye propidium iodide (red), and CF® 405S-conjugated wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) (green) to track progenitor cells, determine viability, and measure replicative age respectively, in yeast cultures under various genetic or pharmacological conditions. A plate-based autosampler enables screening throughputs exceeding >1000 conditions/ day. The authors identified two novel life-span extending candidates from a small compound library, demonstrating the utility of this technique to efficiently drive early-stage discovery of pro-longevity therapeutics.