Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Elucidation of reprogramming mechanism of senescent cells to establish advanced technology for extending healthy life expectancy


JOHMURA Yoshikazu, PhD | Division of Cancer and Senescence Biology, Cancer Research Institute, Kanazawa University
Competition Sponsor: Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development
Awardee Year: 2022

The accumulation of senescent cells plays a crucial role in aging and age-related diseases. Indeed, removal of senescent cells, “Senolysis”, can ameliorate various age-related diseases. However, senescent cells also include non-regenerative cell types such as neurons and cardiomyocytes, and there are growing concerns about the side effects of senolysis. To develop an innovative approach as an alternative to senolysis, this study will examine the possibility of the rejuvenation of senescent cells, “senescence reprogramming”, by transiently expressing Yamanaka factors specifically in senescent cells. Furthermore, we will establish the molecular basis underlying “senescence reprogramming” without using Yamanaka factors to make it possible to return senescent cells to a normal state without impairing brain or heart function. This study has a potential impact because it will lead to the development of advanced healthy life extension medicine without concern for side effects. Moreover, along with the construction of a social system in which elderly people can enjoy their lives without health concerns even after the age of 100, it is expected to be a drastic solution to the problem of a super-aging society, which is an urgent worldwide issue.


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