Chemical screening identifies ATM as a target for alleviating senescence

Nat Chem Biol. 2017 Jun;13(6):616-623. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.2342. Epub 2017 Mar 27.


Senescence, defined as irreversible cell-cycle arrest, is the main driving force of aging and age-related diseases. Here, we performed high-throughput screening to identify compounds that alleviate senescence and identified the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) inhibitor KU-60019 as an effective agent. To elucidate the mechanism underlying ATM's role in senescence, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen and found that ATM interacted with the vacuolar ATPase V1 subunits ATP6V1E1 and ATP6V1G1. Specifically, ATM decreased E-G dimerization through direct phosphorylation of ATP6V1G1. Attenuation of ATM activity restored the dimerization, thus consequently facilitating assembly of the V1 and V0 domains with concomitant reacidification of the lysosome. In turn, this reacidification induced the functional recovery of the lysosome/autophagy system and was coupled with mitochondrial functional recovery and metabolic reprogramming. Together, our data reveal a new mechanism through which senescence is controlled by the lysosomal-mitochondrial axis, whose function is modulated by the fine-tuning of ATM activity.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism
  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lysosomes / enzymology
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria / enzymology
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Morpholines / pharmacology*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Thioxanthenes / pharmacology*


  • 2-(2,6-dimethylmorpholin-4-yl)-N-(5-(6-morpholin-4-yl-4-oxo-4H-pyran-2-yl)-9H-thioxanthen-2-yl)acetamide
  • Morpholines
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Thioxanthenes
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases