Too big not to fail: Impaired genome homeostasis drives large cells into senescence
Friday 21 April 2023
MCDB Hybrid Seminar by Gabriel Neurohr, ETH, Zurich
University of Dundee
Dundee DD1 5HL
Host: Dr Tony Ly
Location: MSI Small Lecture Theatre, SLS & Teams
Cellular senescence plays an important role in development, ageing, and cancer biology. Senescence is associated with increased cell size, but how this contributes to permanent cell cycle exit is poorly understood. Using reversible G1 cell cycle arrests combined with growth rate modulation, we examined the effects of excess cell size on cell cycle progression in human cells. We show that enlarged cells paradoxically have high levels of G1/S regulators relative to cells that were maintained at physiological size but also induce p21, which restrains cell cycle entry and protects against cell division failure. Furthermore, we find that enlarged cells bear an increased propensity for DNA breakage and concomitant DNA damage repair defects that are established during G1. Based on these observations, we propose that impaired DNA damage repair pathways prime enlarged cells for persistent replication-acquired damage, ultimately leading to catastrophic cell cycle failure and permanent cell cycle exit.