Calorie restriction (CR) extends the mean and maximum lifespan of a wide variety of organisms ranging from yeast to mammals, although the molecular mechanisms of action remain unclear. For the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae reducing glucose in the growth medium extends both the replicative and chronological lifespans (CLS). The conserved NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase, Sir2p, promotes replicative longevity in S.cerevisiae by suppressing recombination within the ribosomal DNA locus and has been proposed to mediate the effects of CR on aging. In this study, we investigated the functional relationships of the yeast Sirtuins (Sir2p, Hst1p, Hst2p, Hst3p and Hst4p) with CLS and CR. SIR2, HST2, and HST4 were not major regulators of CLS and were not required for the lifespan extension caused by shifting the glucose concentration from 2 to 0.5% (CR). Deleting HST1 or HST3 moderately shortened CLS, but did not prevent CR from extending lifespan. CR therefore works through a Sirtuin-independent mechanism in the chronological aging system. We also show that low temperature or high osmolarity additively extends CLS when combined with CR, suggesting that these stresses and CR act through separate pathways. The CR effect on CLS was not specific to glucose. Restricting other simple sugars such as galactose or fructose also extended lifespan. Importantly, growth on nonfermentable carbon sources that force yeast to exclusively utilize respiration extended lifespan at nonrestricted concentrations and provided no additional benefit when restricted, suggesting that elevated respiration capacity is an important determinant of chronological longevity. © 2007 The Authors Journal compilation © Blackwell Publishing Ltd/Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland 2007.