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Ecdysone, the major steroid hormone ofDrosophila melanogaster, is known for its role in development and reproduction. Flies that are heterozygous for mutations of the ecdysone receptor exhibit increases in life-span and resistance to various stresses, with no apparent deficit in fertility or activity. A mutant involved in the biosynthesis of ecdysone displays similar effects, which are suppressed by feeding ecdysone to the flies. These observations demonstrate the importance of the ecdysone hormonal pathway, a new player in regulating longevity.
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