Noncoding RNA control of cellular senescence

Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA. Nov-Dec 2015;6(6):615-29. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1297. Epub 2015 Sep 1.


Senescent cells accumulate in normal tissues with advancing age and arise by long-term culture of primary cells. Senescence develops following exposure to a range of stress-causing agents and broadly influences the physiology and pathology of tissues, organs, and systems in the body. While many proteins are known to control senescence, numerous noncoding (nc)RNAs are also found to promote or repress the senescent phenotype. Here, we review the regulatory ncRNAs (primarily microRNAs and lncRNAs) identified to-date as key modulators of senescence. We highlight the major senescent pathways (p53/p21 and pRB/p16), as well as the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) and other senescence-associated events governed by ncRNAs, and discuss the importance of understanding comprehensively the ncRNAs implicated in cell senescence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cellular Senescence / genetics*
  • Humans
  • RNA, Untranslated / physiology*


  • RNA, Untranslated