Review Volume 14, Issue 9 pp 4176—4187
Hallmarks of cancer and hallmarks of aging
- 1 Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA
Received: February 14, 2022 Accepted: May 2, 2022 Published: May 9, 2022https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.204082
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Copyright: © 2022 Blagosklonny et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
A thought-provoking article by Gems and de Magalhães suggests that canonic hallmarks of aging are superficial imitations of hallmarks of cancer. I took their work a step further and proposed hallmarks of aging based on a hierarchical principle and the hyperfunction theory.
To do this, I first reexamine the hallmarks of cancer proposed by Hanahan and Weinberg in 2000. Although six hallmarks of cancer are genuine, they are not hierarchically arranged, i.e., molecular, intra-cellular, cellular, tissue, organismal and extra-organismal. (For example, invasion and angiogenesis are manifestations of molecular alterations on the tissue level; metastasis on the organismal level, whereas cell immortality is observed outside the host).
The same hierarchical approach is applicable to aging. Unlike cancer, however, aging is not a molecular disease. The lowest level of its origin is normal intracellular signaling pathways such as mTOR that drive developmental growth and, later in life, become hyperfunctional, causing age-related diseases, whose sum is aging. The key hallmark of organismal aging, from worms to humans, are age-related diseases. In addition, hallmarks of aging can be arranged as a timeline, wherein initial hyperfunction is followed by dysfunction, organ damage and functional decline.