Alterations of the translation apparatus during aging and stress response

Mech Ageing Dev. 2017 Dec:168:30-36. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2017.04.003. Epub 2017 Apr 13.


Aging is a biological process characterized by the irreversible and time-dependent deterioration of cell functions, tissues, and organs. Accumulating studies in a wide range of species from yeast to human revealed changes associated with the aging process to be conserved throughout evolution. The main characteristics of aging are (i) genomic instability, (ii) loss of telomere function, (iii) epigenetic changes,(iv) increased cellular senescence, (v) depletion of the stem cell pool, (vi) altered intercellular communication and (vii) loss of protein homeostasis. Among the multiple molecular mechanisms underlying aging, alterations of the translation machinery affecting the rate and selectivity of protein biosynthesis seem to play a central role. At the very heart of translation is the ribosome, a multifaceted and universally conserved RNA-protein particle responsible for accurate polypeptide synthesis and co-translational protein folding. Here we summarize and discuss recent developments on the contribution of altered translation and age-dependent modifications on the ribosome structure to aging and cellular senescence.

Keywords: Age-related diseases; Non-coding RNA; Ribosome; Selective translation; Translation regulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cellular Senescence*
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism
  • Ribosomes / genetics
  • Ribosomes / metabolism*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Untranslated