NF90 coordinately represses the senescence-associated secretory phenotype


A hallmark trait of cellular senescence is the acquisition of a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). SASP factors include cytokines and their receptors (IL-6, IL-8, osteoprotegerin, GM-CSF), chemokines and their ligands (MCP-1, HCC4), and oncogenes (Gro1 and Gro2), many of them encoded by mRNAs whose stability and translation are tightly regulated. Using two models of human fibroblast senescence (WI-38 and IDH4 cells), we report the identification of RNA-binding protein NF90 as a post-transcriptional repressor of several SASP factors. In ‘young', proliferating fibroblasts, NF90 was highly abundant, associated with numerous SASP mRNAs, and inhibited their expression. By contrast, senescent cells expressed low levels of NF90, thus allowing SASP factor expression to increase. NF90 elicited these effects mainly by repressing the translation of target SASP mRNAs, since silencing NF90 did not increase the steady-state levels of SASP mRNAs but elevated key SASP factors including MCP-1, GROa, IL-6, and IL-8. Our findings indicate that NF90 contributes to maintaining low levels of SASP factors in non-senescent cells, while NF90 reduction in senescent cells allows SASP factor expression to rise.

Targeted Cargo Delivery in Senescent Cells Using Capped Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles


Intracellular controlled release of molecules within senescent cells was achieved using mesoporous silica nanoparticles(MSNs) capped with a galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS) to contain the cargo molecules (magenta spheres; see scheme). The GOS is a substrate of the senescent biomarker, senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal), and releases the cargo upon entry into SA-β-gal expressing cells.

Cell-penetrating superoxide dismutase attenuates oxidative stress-induced senescence by regulating the p53-p21Cip1 pathway and restores osteoblastic differentiation in human dental pulp stem cells


Human dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) have potential applications in tissue regeneration because of their convenient cell harvesting procedures and multipotent capacity. However, the tissue regenerative potential of DPSCs is known to be negatively regulated by aging in long-term culture and under oxidative stress. With an aim of reducing cellular senescence and oxidative stress in DPSCs, an intracellular delivery system for superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) was developed. We conjugated SOD1 with a cell-penetrating peptide known as low-molecular weight protamine (LMWP), and investigated the effect of LMWP-SOD1 conjugates on hydrogen peroxide-induced cellular senescence and osteoblastic differentiation.
LMWP-SOD1 significantly attenuated enlarged and flattened cell morphology and increased senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity. Under the same conditions, LMWP-SOD1 abolished activation of the cell cycle regulator proteins, p53 and p21Cip1, induced by hydrogen peroxide. In addition, LMWP-SOD1 reversed the inhibition of osteoblastic differentiation and downregulation of osteogenic gene markers induced by hydrogen peroxide. However, LMWP-SOD1 could not reverse the decrease in odontogenesis caused by hydrogen peroxide.
Overall, cell-penetrating LMWP-SOD1 conjugates are effective for attenuation of cellular senescence and reversal of osteoblastic differentiation of DPSCs caused by oxidative stress inhibition. This result suggests potential application in the field of antiaging and tissue engineering to overcome the limitations of senescent stem cells.

Picture: Ras-induced senescent IMR90

RED: Ras-induced senescent IMR90 (mCherry)
GREEN: Growing IMR90 (GFP)
The main focus of ageing research is to prevent/combat age-related disease and disability, allowing everyone to live healthier lives for longer.