Editors' ChoiceCell Biology

Transcriptional control of cell senescence

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Sci. Signal.  29 Sep 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 396, pp. ec280
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad5230

Senescent cells that have stopped proliferating secrete molecules that influence the cells around them. Prevention of this senescence-activated secretory phenotype seems to slow organismal aging. Kang et al. explored the regulatory process behind cell senescence and found that DNA damage led to stabilization of the transcription factor GATA4 (see the Perspective by Cassidy and Narita). Increased activity of GATA4 in senescent cells stimulated genes encoding secreted factors. GATA4 also accumulates in the brains of aging mice or humans.

C. Kang, Q. Xu, T. D. Martin, M. Z. Li, M. Demaria, L. Aron, T. Lu, B. A. Yankner, J. Campisi, S. J. Elledge, The DNA damage response induces inflammation and senescence by inhibiting autophagy of GATA4. Science 349, aaa5612 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]

L. D. Cassidy, M. Narita, GATA get a hold on senescence. Science 349, 1448–1449 (2015). [Summary] [Full Text]