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Aging Cell. 2012 Jun;11(3):378-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1474-9726.2012.00807.x. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

Is cellular senescence an example of antagonistic pleiotropy?

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IFOM Foundation -- The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology Foundation via Adamello 16, 20139 Milan, Italy.


It is generally accepted that the permanent arrest of cell division known as cellular senescence contributes to aging by an antagonistic pleiotropy mechanism: cellular senescence would act beneficially early in life by suppressing cancer, but detrimentally later on by causing frailty and, paradoxically, cancer. In this review, we show that there is room to rethink this common view. We propose a critical appraisal of the arguments commonly brought in support of it, and we qualitatively analyse published results that are of relevance to understand whether or not cellular senescence-associated genes really act in an antagonistic-pleiotropic manner in humans.

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