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J Biol Chem. 2014 Feb 28;289(9):6299-310. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.526863. Epub 2014 Jan 14.

Interplay between selenium levels, selenoprotein expression, and replicative senescence in WI-38 human fibroblasts.

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From the Centre de Génétique Moléculaire, CNRS, UPR3404, Gif-sur-Yvette 91198 Cedex, France and.


Selenium is an essential trace element, which is incorporated as selenocysteine into at least 25 selenoproteins using a unique translational UGA-recoding mechanism. Selenoproteins are important enzymes involved in antioxidant defense, redox homeostasis, and redox signaling pathways. Selenium levels decline during aging, and its deficiency is associated with a marked increase in mortality for people over 60 years of age. Here, we investigate the relationship between selenium levels in the culture medium, selenoprotein expression, and replicative life span of human embryonic lung fibroblast WI-38 cells. Selenium levels regulate the entry into replicative senescence and modify the cellular markers characteristic for senescent cells. Whereas selenium supplementation extends the number of population doublings, its deficiency impairs the proliferative capacity of WI-38 cells. We observe that the expression of several selenoproteins involved in antioxidant defense is specifically affected in response to cellular senescence. Their expression is selectively controlled by the modulation of mRNA levels and translational recoding efficiencies. Our data provide novel mechanistic insights into how selenium impacts the replicative life span of mammalian cells by identifying several selenoproteins as new targets of senescence.


Cellular Senescence; Glutathione Peroxidase; SECIS; Selenium; Selenoproteome; Thioredoxin Reductase; Translation Control; UGA Recoding

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