Research Paper Volume 2, Issue 6 pp 344—352
The choice between p53-induced senescence and quiescence is determined in part by the mTOR pathway
- 1 Department of Cell Stress Biology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, BLSC, L3-312, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA
Received: June 5, 2010 Accepted: June 23, 2010 Published: June 25, 2010https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.100160
How to Cite
Transient induction of p53 can cause reversible quiescence and irreversible senescence. Using nutlin-3a (a small molecule that activates p53 without causing DNA damage), we have previously identified cell lines in which nutlin-3a caused quiescence. Importantly, nutlin-3a caused quiescence by actively suppressing the senescence program (while still causing cell cycle arrest). Noteworthy, in these cells nutlin-3a inhibited the mTOR (mammalian Target of Rapamycin) pathway, which is known to be involved in the senescence program. Here we showed that shRNA-mediated knockdown of TSC2, a negative regulator of mTOR, partially converted quiescence into senescence in these nutlin-arrested cells. In accord, in melanoma cell lines and mouse embryo fibroblasts, which easily undergo senescence in response to p53 activation, nutlin-3a failed to inhibit mTOR. In these senescence-prone cells, the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin converted nutlin-3a-induced senescence into quiescence. We conclude that status of the mTOR pathway can determine, at least in part, the choice between senescence and quiescence in p53-arrested cells.