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Cancer Res. 2009 Oct 15;69(20):7917-25. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-2510. Epub 2009 Oct 13.

Senescence-associated oxidative DNA damage promotes the generation of neoplastic cells.

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  • 1Universit√© Lille Nord de France, CNRS, UMR8161, UDSL, Institut Pasteur de Lille, Lille, France.


Studies on human fibroblasts have led to viewing senescence as a barrier against tumorigenesis. Using keratinocytes, we show here that partially transformed and tumorigenic cells systematically and spontaneously emerge from senescent cultures. We show that these emerging cells are generated from senescent cells, which are still competent for replication, by an unusual budding-mitosis mechanism. We further present data implicating reactive oxygen species that accumulate during senescence as a potential mutagenic motor of this post-senescence emergence. We conclude that senescence and its associated oxidative stress could be a tumor-promoting state for epithelial cells, potentially explaining why the incidence of carcinogenesis dramatically increases with advanced age.

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