Axis of ageing: telomeres, p53 and mitochondria

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2012 May 16;13(6):397-404. doi: 10.1038/nrm3352.


Progressive DNA damage and mitochondrial decline are both considered to be prime instigators of natural ageing. Traditionally, these two pathways have been viewed largely in isolation. However, recent studies have revealed a molecular circuit that directly links DNA damage to compromised mitochondrial biogenesis and function via p53. This axis of ageing may account for both organ decline and disease development associated with advanced age and could illuminate a path for the development of relevant therapeutics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Telomere / metabolism*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53