Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


A midlife longevity drug?

The small molecule rapamycin, already approved for clinical use for various human disorders, has been found to significantly increase lifespan in mice. Is this a step towards an anti-ageing drug for people?

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Rapa Nui and rapamycin.



  1. Harrison, D. E. et al. Nature 460, 392–395 (2009).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Jia, K., Chen, D. & Riddle, D. L. Development 131, 3897–3906 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Kaeberlein, M. et al. Science 310, 1193–1196 (2005).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Kapahi, P. et al. Curr. Biol. 14, 885–890 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Powers, R. W. 3rd, Kaeberlein, M., Caldwell, S. D., Kennedy, B. K. & Fields, S. Genes Dev. 20, 174–184 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Vellai, T. et al. Nature 426, 620 (2003).

    CAS  ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Stanfel, M. N., Shamieh, L. S., Kaeberlein, M. & Kennedy, B. K. Biochim. Biophys. Acta advance online publication doi:10.1016/j.bbagen.2009.06.007 (2009).

  8. Smith, E. D. et al. Genome Res. 18, 564–570 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Steffen, K. K. et al. Cell 133, 292–302 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Hansen, M. et al. PLoS Genet. 4, e24 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Ethics declarations

Competing interests

M.K. and B.K.K. have patents pending for high-throughput methods for measuring lifespan in yeast.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kaeberlein, M., Kennedy, B. A midlife longevity drug?. Nature 460, 331–332 (2009).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing