Turning anti-ageing genes against cancer

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Nov;9(11):903-10. doi: 10.1038/nrm2526.


Recent studies in diverse organisms implicate proto-oncogenic pathways, including insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), Ras and AKT/protein kinase B in the ageing process. Although IGF-I is thought to contribute to cancer by promoting growth and preventing apoptosis, evidence from model organisms suggests that proto-oncogene homologues might contribute to the DNA mutations and chromosomal damage that are observed in tumour cells by increasing DNA damage, in both dividing and non-dividing cells, and involving error-prone systems in DNA repair. This raises the possibility that cancer can be reduced by chronic downregulation of pro-ageing pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • DNA Repair
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I