Short telomeres correlate with a strong induction of cellular senescence in human dental follicle cells.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Dental follicle cells (DFCs) are dental stem cells and interesting options for regenerative therapies in dentistry. However, DFCs acquire replicative senescence in long-term cultures, but little is known about molecular processes. In previous studies, we observed that DFC cell lines become senescent at different rates. We hypothesized that short telomere length and increased DNA damage with genomic instability correlate with the accelerated induction of cellular senescence. RESULTS:For this study we compared DFC cell lines that became senescent at different rates (DFC_F: strong senescent phenotype; DFC_S: weak senescent phenotype). The telomeres of DFC_F were shorter than those of the telomeres of DFC_S prior senescence. Interestingly, telomere lengths of both cell lines were nearly unchanged after induction of senescence. Gene expression analyses with genes associated with DNA damage before and after the induction of cellular senescence revealed that almost all genes in DFCs_F were down-regulated while the gene expression in DFC_S was almost constitutive. Moreover, number of aneuploid DFC_F were significantly higher after induction of cellular senescence. CONCLUSION:Our results supported our initial hypothesis that telomere length and genomic instability correlate with the accelerated induction of cellular senescence in DFC_F.
Project description:Abstract Loss of telomeric DNA leads to telomere uncapping, which triggers a persistent, p53-centric DNA damage response that sustains a stable senescence-associated proliferation arrest. Here, we show that in normal cells telomere uncapping triggers a focal telomeric DNA damage response accompanied by a transient cell cycle arrest. Subsequent cell division with dysfunctional telomeres resulted in sporadic telomeric sister chromatid fusions that gave rise to next-mitosis genome instability, including non-telomeric DNA lesions responsible for a stable, p53-mediated, senescence-associated proliferation arrest. Unexpectedly, the blocking of Rad51/RPA-mediated homologous recombination, but not non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), prevented senescence despite multiple dysfunctional telomeres. When cells approached natural replicative senescence, interphase senescent cells displayed genome instability, whereas near-senescent cells that underwent mitosis despite the presence of uncapped telomeres did not. This suggests that these near-senescent cells had not yet acquired irreversible telomeric fusions. We propose a new model for telomere-initiated senescence where tolerance of telomere uncapping eventually results in irreversible non-telomeric DNA lesions leading to stable senescence. Paradoxically, our work reveals that senescence-associated tumor suppression from telomere shortening requires irreversible genome instability at the single-cell level, which suggests that interventions to repair telomeres in the pre-senescent state could prevent senescence and genome instability. Graphical Abstract Graphical Abstract Replicative senescence is orchestrated by a multi-step mechanism, exploiting homologous-directed DNA-repair at short telomeres to fuse sister chromatids generating irreparable genome damage and stable proliferative arrest. Paradoxically, senescence requires genome instability to ensure irreversibility.
Project description:Cellular senescence has been shown to contribute to skin ageing. However, the role of melanocytes in the process is understudied. Our data show that melanocytes are the only epidermal cell type to express the senescence marker p16<sup>INK4A</sup> during human skin ageing. Aged melanocytes also display additional markers of senescence such as reduced HMGB1 and dysfunctional telomeres, without detectable telomere shortening. Additionally, senescent melanocyte SASP induces telomere dysfunction in paracrine manner and limits proliferation of surrounding cells via activation of CXCR3-dependent mitochondrial ROS. Finally, senescent melanocytes impair basal keratinocyte proliferation and contribute to epidermal atrophy in vitro using 3D human epidermal equivalents. Crucially, clearance of senescent melanocytes using the senolytic drug ABT737 or treatment with mitochondria-targeted antioxidant MitoQ suppressed this effect. In conclusion, our study provides proof-of-concept evidence that senescent melanocytes affect keratinocyte function and act as drivers of human skin ageing.
Project description:Cellular senescence is a phenotype that is likely linked with aging. Recent concepts view different forms of senescence as permanently maintained DNA damage responses partially characterized by the presence of senescence-associated DNA damage foci at dysfunctional telomeres. Irradiation of primary human dermal fibroblasts with the photosensitizer 8-methoxypsoralen and ultraviolet A radiation (PUVA) induces senescence. In the present study, we demonstrate that senescence after PUVA depends on DNA interstrand cross-link (ICL) formation that activates ATR kinase. ATR is necessary for the manifestation and maintenance of the senescent phenotype, because depletion of ATR expression before PUVA prevents induction of senescence, and reduction of ATR expression in PUVA-senesced fibroblasts releases cells from growth arrest. We find an ATR-dependent phosphorylation of the histone H2AX (gamma-H2AX). After PUVA, ATR and gamma-H2AX colocalize in multiple nuclear foci. After several days, only few predominantly telomere-localized foci persist and telomeric DNA can be coimmunoprecipitated with ATR from PUVA-senesced fibroblasts. We thus identify ATR as a novel mediator of telomere-dependent senescence in response to ICL induced by photoactivated psoralens.
Project description:FK866 possesses various functional properties, such as anti-angiogenic, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory activities. We previously demonstrated that premature senescence of human dental pulp cells (hDPCs) was induced by hydrogen peroxide (H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>). The present study aimed to investigate whether H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>-induced premature senescence of hDPCs is affected by treatment with FK866. We found that FK866 markedly inhibited the senescent characteristics of hDPCs after exposure to H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>, as revealed by an increase in the number of senescence-associated ?-galactosidase (SA-?-gal)-positive hDPCs and the upregulation of the p21 and p53 proteins, which acts as molecular indicators of cellular senescence. Moreover, the stimulatory effects of H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub> on cellular senescence are associated with oxidative stress induction, such as excessive ROS production and NADPH consumption, telomere DNA damage induction, and upregulation of senescence-associated secretory phenotype factors (IL-1?, IL-6, IL-8, COX-2, and TNF-?) as well as NF-?B activation, which were all blocked by FK866. Thus, FK866 might antagonize H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>-induced premature senescence of hDPCs, acting as a potential therapeutic antioxidant by attenuating oxidative stress-induced pathologies in dental pulp, including inflammation and cellular senescence.
Project description:Cellular senescence is an irreversible growth arrest that occurs as a result of damaging stimuli, including DNA damage and/or telomere shortening. Here, we investigate histone variant H2A.J as a new biomarker to detect senescent cells during human skin aging. Skin biopsies from healthy volunteers of different ages (18-90 years) were analyzed for H2A.J expression and other parameters involved in triggering and/or maintaining cellular senescence. In the epidermis, the proportions of H2A.J-expressing keratinocytes increased from ≈20% in young to ≈60% in aged skin. Inverse correlations between Ki67- and H2A.J staining in germinative layers may reflect that H2A.J-expressing cells having lost their capacity to divide. As cellular senescence is triggered by DNA-damage signals, persistent 53BP1-foci, telomere lengths, and telomere-associated damage foci were analyzed in epidermal keratinocytes. Only slight age-related telomere attrition and few persistent nuclear 53BP1-foci, occasionally colocalizing with telomeres, suggest that unprotected telomeres are not a significant cause of senescence during skin aging. Quantification of integrin-α6+ basal cells suggests that the number and function of stem/progenitor cells decreased during aging and their altered proliferation capacities resulted in diminished tissue renewal with epidermal thinning. Collectively, our findings suggest that H2A.J is a sensitive marker of epidermal aging in human skin.
Project description:Dental follicle cells (DFCs) are progenitor cells for mineralizing cells such as alveolar osteoblasts, but little is known about the mechanisms of the differentiation. Interestingly, different cell lines sometimes have different potentials to differentiate into mineralizing cells. In this study, we compared two different DFC lines, with one cell line (DFC_B) showing a high alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity in long-term cultures with standard medium and a reliable mineralizing potential. However, the other cell line DFC_A shows low ALP activity in standard medium and almost no mineralization. Known osteogenic markers such as RUNX2 were similarly expressed in both cell lines. However, the proosteogenic signaling pathway of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) is induced in DFC_B, and the parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), which is involved in tooth root development, was also expressed more strongly. Previous studies have shown that the secreted PTHrP negatively regulate the transition from pre-osteoblastic progenitors to osteoblasts, but we showed that an inhibition of PTHrP gene expression reduced the ALP activity and the BMP-signaling pathway. In addition, endogenously expressed PTHrP is located in the cell nucleus. In contrast, supplementation of PTHrP or an inhibitor for the PTHrP receptor did not affect the ALP activity of DFC_B. In conclusion, our data suggest that a high endogenous expression of PTHrP in DFCs supports the induction of osteogenic differentiation via an intracrine mode.
Project description:Cellular senescence is described to be a consequence of telomere erosion during the replicative life span of primary human cells. Quiescence should therefore not contribute to cellular aging but rather extend lifespan. Here we tested this hypothesis and demonstrate that cultured long-term quiescent human fibroblasts transit into senescence due to similar cellular mechanisms with similar dynamics and with a similar maximum life span as proliferating controls, even under physiological oxygen conditions. Both, long-term quiescent and senescent fibroblasts almost completely fail to undergo apoptosis. The transition of long-term quiescent fibroblasts into senescence is also independent of HES1 which protects short-term quiescent cells from becoming senescent. Most significantly, DNA damage accumulates during senescence as well as during long-term quiescence at physiological oxygen levels. We suggest that telomere-independent, potentially maintenance driven gradual induction of cellular senescence during quiescence is a counterbalance to tumor development.
Project description:Most human somatic cells do not express telomerase. Consequently, with each cell division their telomeres progressively shorten until replicative senescence is induced. Around 15% of human cancers maintain their telomeres using telomerase-independent, recombination-based mechanisms that are collectively termed 'alternative lengthening of telomeres' (ALT). In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, ALT cells are referred to as 'survivors'. One type of survivor (type II) resembles human ALT cells in that both are defined by the amplification of telomeric repeats. We analyzed recombination-mediated telomere extension events at individual telomeres in telomerase-negative yeast during the formation of type II survivors and found that long telomeres were preferentially extended. Furthermore, senescent cells with long telomeres were more efficient at bypassing senescence by the type II pathway. We speculate that telomere length may be important in determining whether cancer cells use telomerase or ALT to bypass replicative senescence.
Project description:Cellular senescence is characterized by an irreversible cell-cycle arrest as well as a pro-inflammatory phenotype, thought to contribute to aging and age-related diseases. Neutrophils have essential roles in inflammatory responses; however, in certain contexts their abundance is associated with a number of age-related diseases, including liver disease. The relationship between neutrophils and cellular senescence is not well understood. Here, we show that telomeres in non-immune cells are highly susceptible to oxidative damage caused by neighboring neutrophils. Neutrophils cause telomere dysfunction both in vitro and ex vivo in a ROS-dependent manner. In a mouse model of acute liver injury, depletion of neutrophils reduces telomere dysfunction and senescence. Finally, we show that senescent cells mediate the recruitment of neutrophils to the aged liver and propose that this may be a mechanism by which senescence spreads to surrounding cells. Our results suggest that interventions that counteract neutrophil-induced senescence may be beneficial during aging and age-related disease.
Project description:Telomere dysfunction plays a complex role in tumorigenesis. While dysfunctional telomeres can block the proliferation of incipient cancer clones by inducing replicative senescence, fusion of dysfunctional telomeres can drive genome instability and oncogenic genomic rearrangements. Therefore, it is important to define the regulatory pathways that guide these opposing effects. Recent work has shown that the autophagy pathway regulates both senescence and genome instability in various contexts. Here, we apply models of acute telomere dysfunction to determine whether autophagy modulates the resulting genome instability and senescence responses. While telomere dysfunction rapidly induces autophagic flux in human fibroblast cell lines, inhibition of the autophagy pathway does not have a significant impact upon the transition to senescence, in contrast to what has previously been reported for oncogene-induced senescence. Our results suggest that this difference may be explained by disparities in the development of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype. We also show that chromosome fusions induced by telomere dysfunction are comparable in autophagy-proficient and autophagy-deficient cells. Altogether, our results highlight the complexity of the senescence-autophagy interface and indicate that autophagy induction is unlikely to play a significant role in telomere dysfunction-driven senescence and chromosome fusions.