Autophagy and senescence, converging roles in pathophysiology as seen through mouse models

Adv Cancer Res. 2021;150:113-145. doi: 10.1016/bs.acr.2021.02.001. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Abstract

Both senescence and autophagy have been strongly linked to aging and also cancer development. Numerous molecular, cellular, and physiological changes are known to correlate with an increasing age, yet our understanding of what underlies these changes or how they combine to give rise to the various pathologies associated with aging is still unclear. Levels of autophagy activity are known to decrease with advancing age, in a variety of organisms including mammals. Whereas senescent cells are known to accumulate in our bodies with age. Herein we review evidence from some elegant genetic mouse models linking senescence and also autophagy to aging and cancer. It is especially interesting to note the convergence in the pathological phenotypes of these two processes, senescence and autophagy, in these mouse models.

Keywords: Aging; Autophagy; Cancer; Cellular senescence; Mouse models.