Cellular senescence is associated with pleiotropic physiopathological processes, including aging and age-related diseases. The persistent DNA damage is a major stress leading to senescence, but the underlying molecular link remains elusive. Here, we identify La Ribonucleoprotein 7 (LARP7), a 7SK RNA binding protein, as an aging antagonist. DNA damage-mediated Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) activation triggers the extracellular shuttling and downregulation of LARP7, which dampens SIRT1 deacetylase activity, enhances p53 and NF-κB (p65) transcriptional activity by augmenting their acetylation, and thereby accelerates cellular senescence. Deletion of LARP7 leads to senescent cell accumulation and premature aging in rodent model. Furthermore, we show this ATM-LARP7-SIRT1-p53/p65 senescence axis is active in vascular senescence and atherogenesis, and preventing its activation substantially alleviates senescence and atherogenesis. Together, this study identifies LARP7 as a gatekeeper of senescence, and the altered ATM-LARP7-SIRT1-p53/p65 pathway plays an important role in DNA damage response (DDR)-mediated cellular senescence and atherosclerosis.
Keywords: DNA damage; LARP7; aging; atherosclerosis; senescence.
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