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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Nov;9(11):903-10. doi: 10.1038/nrm2526.

Turning anti-ageing genes against cancer.

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Andrus Gerontology Center, Molecular and Computational Biology Department, University of Southern California, 3715 McClintock Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90089-0191, USA.


Recent studies in diverse organisms implicate proto-oncogenic pathways, including insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), Ras and AKT/protein kinase B in the ageing process. Although IGF-I is thought to contribute to cancer by promoting growth and preventing apoptosis, evidence from model organisms suggests that proto-oncogene homologues might contribute to the DNA mutations and chromosomal damage that are observed in tumour cells by increasing DNA damage, in both dividing and non-dividing cells, and involving error-prone systems in DNA repair. This raises the possibility that cancer can be reduced by chronic downregulation of pro-ageing pathways.

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