Telomere loss has been proposed as a mechanism for counting cell divisions during aging in normal somatic cells. How such a mitotic clock initiates the intracellular signalling events that culminate in G1 cell cycle arrest and senescence to restrict the lifespan of normal human cells is not known. We investigated the possibility that critically short telomere length activates a DNA damage response pathway involving p53 and p21(WAF1) in aging cells.
Telomere shortening in normal human cells causes replicative senescence, a p53-dependent growth arrest state, which is thought to represent an innate defence against tumour progression. However, although it has been postulated that critical telomere loss generates a 'DNA damage' signal, the signalling pathway(s) that alerts cells to short dysfunctional telomeres remains only partially defined.
Ageing is associated with an increased onset of cancer. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie the age dependency of cancer will have important implications for preventing and treating this pathology. The signalling pathway connecting insulin and FOXO transcription factors provides the most compelling example for a conserved genetic pathway at the interface between ageing and cancer. FOXO transcription factors (FOXO) promote longevity and tumour suppression.
C57BL/6J mice carrying the Min allele of Adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) develop numerous adenomas along the entire length of the intestine and consequently die at an early age. This short lifespan would prevent the accumulation of somatic genetic mutations or epigenetic alterations necessary for tumor progression. To overcome this limitation, we generated F(1) Apc(Min/+) hybrids by crossing C57BR/cdcJ and SWR/J females to C57BL/6J Apc(Min/+) males. These hybrids developed few intestinal tumors and often lived longer than 1 year.
Protein ubiquitylation is a key post-translational control mechanism contributing to different physiological processes, such as signal transduction and ageing. The size and linkage of a ubiquitin chain, which determines whether a substrate is efficiently targeted for proteasomal degradation, is determined by the interplay between ubiquitylation and deubiquitylation. A conserved factor that orchestrates distinct substrate-processing co-regulators in diverse species is the ubiquitin-selective chaperone CDC-48 (also known as p97).
Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors control diverse cellular functions, such as cell death, metabolism, and longevity. We analyzed FOXO3/FKHRL1 expression and subcellular localization in tumor sections of neuroblastoma patients and observed a correlation between nuclear FOXO3 and high caspase-8 expression. In neuroblastoma caspase-8 is frequently silenced by DNA methylation. Conditional FOXO3 activated caspase-8 gene expression but did not change the DNA-methylation pattern of regulatory sequences in the caspase-8 gene.
Alterations in the architecture and dynamics of the nuclear lamina have a causal role in normal and accelerated aging through both cell-autonomous and systemic mechanisms. However, the precise nature of the molecular cues involved in this process remains incompletely defined. Here we report that the accumulation of prelamin A isoforms at the nuclear lamina triggers an ATM- and NEMO-dependent signaling pathway that leads to NF-?B activation and secretion of high levels of proinflammatory cytokines in two different mouse models of accelerated aging (Zmpste24(-/-) and Lmna(G609G/G609G) mice).
The eukaryotic DNA replication initiation factor Mcm10 is essential for both replisome assembly and function. Human Mcm10 has two DNA-binding domains, the conserved internal domain (ID) and the C-terminal domain (CTD), which is specific to metazoans. SIRT1 is a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-dependent deacetylase that belongs to the sirtuin family. It is conserved from yeast to human and participates in cellular controls of metabolism, longevity, gene expression and genomic stability.
Neurodegeneration is a hallmark of the human disease ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) that is caused by mutation of the A-T mutated (ATM) gene. We have analyzed Drosophila melanogaster ATM mutants to determine the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in A-T. Previously, we found that ATM mutants upregulate the expression of innate immune response (IIR) genes and undergo neurodegeneration in the central nervous system. Here, we present evidence that activation of the IIR is a cause of neurodegeneration in ATM mutants.
It is hypothesized that a common underlying mechanism links multiple neurodegenerative disorders. Here we show that transitional endoplasmic reticulum ATPase (TERA)/valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97 directly binds to multiple polyglutamine disease proteins (huntingtin, ataxin-1, ataxin-7 and androgen receptor) via polyglutamine sequence. Although normal and mutant polyglutamine proteins interact with TERA/VCP/p97, only mutant proteins affect dynamism of TERA/VCP/p97.