A Systems Biology View of Cellular Senescence, Longevity, and Age-Related Disease

Systems biology is the natural evolution of the present mainstream research into metabolism, epigenetics, cellular mechanisms, and aging: tie it all together into one holistic view of how the body works and then fails with age. Here is an example of that sort of viewpoint, and how it reinforces conclusions such as the need to address cellular senescence: "The role of cellular senescence (CS) in age-related diseases (ARDs) is a quickly emerging topic in aging research. Our comprehensive data mining revealed over 250 genes tightly associated with CS. Using systems biology tools, we found that CS is closely interconnected with aging, longevity and ARDs, either by sharing common genes and regulators or by protein-protein interactions and eventually by common signaling pathways. The most enriched pathways across CS, ARDs and aging-associated conditions (oxidative stress and chronic inflammation) are growth-promoting pathways and the pathways responsible for cell-extracellular matrix interactions and stress response. Of note, the patterns of evolutionary conservation of CS and cancer genes showed a high degree of similarity, suggesting the co-evolution of these two phenomena. Moreover, cancer genes and microRNAs seem to stand at the crossroad between CS and ARDs. Our analysis also provides the basis for new predictions: the genes common to both cancer and other ARD(s) are highly likely candidates to be involved in CS and vice versa. Altogether, this study shows that there are multiple links between CS, aging, longevity and ARDs, suggesting a common molecular basis for all these conditions. Modulating CS may represent a potential pro-longevity and anti-ARDs therapeutic strategy."

Link: http://impactaging.com/papers/v3/n12/full/100413.html


Wow. That is a rather surprising bunch of connections between very different looking things.

Posted by: Will Nelson at December 20th, 2011 8:18 AM
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