Identification and Targeting of Noncanonical Death Resistant Cells

Photo by Erin Ashford
Photo by Erin Ashford

SENS Research Foundation Research Center

Forever Healthy Foundation Fellowship in Rejuvenation Biotechnology

Principal Investigator: Tesfahun Admasu

When cells age, they lose their proliferative capacity and stop dividing in a phenomenon called senescence. Cellular senescence decreases the regenerative capacity of cells and tissues.

Throughout the aging process senescent cells accumulate and secrete a characteristic set of proteins, called a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Although SASPs act as tumor suppressors and recruit immune cells to repair damage, they also mediate the deleterious effects of senescence to cause different pathologies, such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes. Furthermore, SASPs induce senescence in the surrounding cells (secondary senescence), which aggravates the effect.

Small molecules, called senolytics, eliminate senescent cells and reduce certain age-associated disorders.

Project Goals

This project seeks to test the hypothesis that secondary senescent cells are different from primary senescent cells and would therefore need a different set of senolytics to eradicate. In addition, the project will study the role of the different SASP components involved in the spreading of senescence, and test the hypothesis that intervening in SASP signaling could be therapeutically viable.

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