Dec 5, 2019

Cardiac glycosides are broad-spectrum senolytics

Nature Metabolism
Ana GuerreroJesús Gil

Abstract

Senescence is a cellular stress response that results in the stable arrest of old, damaged or preneoplastic cells. Oncogene-induced senescence is tumor suppressive but can also exacerbate tumorigenesis through the secretion of pro-inflammatory factors from senescent cells. Drugs that selectively kill senescent cells, termed senolytics, have proved beneficial in animal models of many age-associated diseases. Here, we show that the cardiac glycoside, ouabain, is a senolytic agent with broad activity. Senescent cells are sensitized to ouabain-induced apoptosis, a process mediated in part by induction of the pro-apoptotic Bcl2-family protein NOXA. We show that cardiac glycosides synergize with anti-cancer drugs to kill tumor cells and eliminate senescent cells that accumulate after irradiation or in old mice. Ouabain also eliminates senescent preneoplastic cells. Our findings suggest that cardiac glycosides may be effective anti-cancer drugs by acting through multiple mechanism. Given the broad range of senescent cells targeted by cardiac glycosides their use against age-related diseases warrants further exploration.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Antineoplastic Agents
Neoplastic Cell
Neoplasms
Cellular Stress Response
Senescence Function
Pharmacologic Substance
Apoptosis
Heart
LIMS1 gene
Cell Secretion

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