Markers of cellular senescence. Telomere shortening as a marker of cellular senescence

Aging (Albany NY). 2016 Jan;8(1):3-11. doi: 10.18632/aging.100871.


The cellular senescence definition comes to the fact of cells irreversible proliferation disability. Besides the cell cycle arrest, senescent cells go through some morphological, biochemical, and functional changes which are the signs of cellular senescence. The senescent cells (including replicative senescence and stress-induced premature senescence) of all the tissues look alike. They are metabolically active and possess the set of characteristics in vitro and in vivo, which are known as biomarkers of aging and cellular senescence. Among biomarkers of cellular senescence telomere shortening is a rather elegant frequently used biomarker. Validity of telomere shortening as a marker for cellular senescence is based on theoretical and experimental data.

Keywords: aging; biomarkers; cellular senescence; replicative senescence; telomere; telomere theory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Aging / pathology
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cellular Senescence*
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Heterochromatin / metabolism
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Phenotype
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Telomere / genetics
  • Telomere / metabolism*
  • Telomere Shortening*


  • Genetic Markers
  • H2AX protein, human
  • Heterochromatin
  • Histones