Cell Biology

Signals of stress

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Science  07 May 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6542, pp. 585-586
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6542.585-d

Senescence is a permanent arrest to cell cycling induced by stress or damage. It is reinforced in tissues by the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) in which secretion of various mediators maintains the proliferative arrest. If senescent cells (called senolysis) could be therapeutically targeted to remove them from tissues, function might be restored to organs compromised by age-associated pathology. Some senolytic drugs have already entered clinical trials, but biomarkers are needed to measure their efficacy and selectivity. Wiley et al. show that senescent cells synthesize oxylipins, which are bioactive lipids that reinforce senescence associated with SASP. A specific oxylipin is released upon senolysis, and so detection of this in extracellular compartments could be the biomarker that is needed.

Cell Metab. 10.1016/j.cmet.2021.03.008 (2021).

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