Aging of signal transduction pathways, and pathology

Exp Cell Res. 2008 Jun 10;314(9):1951-61. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2008.03.017. Epub 2008 Apr 7.


The major cell signaling pathways, and their specific mechanisms of transduction, have been a subject of investigation for many years. As our understanding of these pathways advances, we find that they are evolutionarily well-conserved not only individually, but also at the level of their crosstalk and signal integration. Productive interactions within the key signal transduction networks determine success in embryonic organogenesis, and postnatal tissue repair throughout adulthood. However, aside from clues revealed through examining age-related degenerative diseases, much remains uncertain about imbalances within these pathways during normal aging. Further, little is known about the molecular mechanisms by which alterations in the major cell signal transduction networks cause age-related pathologies. The aim of this review is to describe the complex interplay between the Notch, TGFbeta, WNT, RTK-Ras and Hh signaling pathways, with a specific focus on the changes introduced within these networks by the aging process, and those typical of age-associated human pathologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Disease
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction*