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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2015;35(3):1151-66. doi: 10.1159/000373940. Epub 2015 Feb 6.

Gas6 delays senescence in vascular smooth muscle cells through the PI3K/ Akt/FoxO signaling pathway.

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Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Remodeling and Function Research, Chinese Ministry of Education and Chinese Ministry of Health, Department of Cardiology, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Ji'nan, P.R. China.



Growth arrest-specific protein 6 (Gas6) is a cytokine that can be synthesized by a variety of cell types and secreted into the extracellular matrix. Previous studies have confirmed that Gas6 is involved in certain pathophysiological processes of the cardiovascular system through binding to its receptor, Axl. In the present study, we investigated the role of Gas6 in cellular senescence and explored the mechanisms underlying its activity.


We used vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) to create two cellular senescence models, one for replicative senescence (RS) and one for induced senescence (IS), to test the hypothesis that Gas6 delays senescence.


Gas6-treated cells appear relatively younger compared with non-Gas6-treated cells. In particular, Gas6-treated cells displayed decreased staining for SA-β-Gal, fewer G1 phase cells, and decreased levels of p16(INK4a) and p21(Cip1) expression; conversely, Gas6-treated cells displayed more S phase cells and significantly increased proliferation indexes. Furthermore, in both the IS and RS models with Gas6 treatment, the levels of PI3K, p-Akt, and p-FoxO3a decreased following Axl inhibition by R428; similarly, the levels of p-Akt and p-FoxO3a also decreased following PI3K inhibition by LY294002.


Gas6/Axl signaling is essential for delaying the cellular senescence process regulated by the PI3K/Akt/FoxO signaling pathway.

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