Hallmarks for senescence in carcinogenesis: novel signaling players

Apoptosis. 2009 Apr;14(4):392-408. doi: 10.1007/s10495-009-0316-z.


Cellular senescence is a potent anti-cancer mechanism controlled by tumor suppressor genes, particularly p53 and pRb, which is characterized by the irreversible loss of proliferation. Senescence induced by DNA damage, oncogenic stimulation, or excessive mitogenic input, serves as a barrier that counteracts cancer progression. Emerging evidence in cellular and in in vivo models revealed the involvement of additional signaling players in senescence, including PML, CK2, Bcl-2, PI3K effectors such as Rheb, Rho small GTPases, and cytokines. Recent studies have also implicated protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes as modulators of senescence phenotypes and showed that phorbol esters, widely used PKC activators, can induce senescence in a number of cancer cells. These novel findings suggest a complex array of cross-talks between senescence pathways and may have significant implications in cancer therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*