Shelley L. Berger, Ph.D.

Penn Study Identifies Enzyme Key to Link Between Age-Related Inflammation and Cancer

For the first time, researchers have shown that an enzyme key to regulating gene expression — and also an oncogene when mutated — is critical for the expression of numerous inflammatory compounds that have been implicated in age-related increases in cancer and tissue degeneration, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Inhibitors of the enzyme are being developed as a new anti-cancer target.
ged and damaged cells frequently undergo a form of proliferation arrest called cellular senescence. These fading cells increase in human tissues with aging and are thought to contribute to age-related increases in both cancer and inflammation. The secretion of such inflammatory compounds as cytokines, growth factors, and proteases is called the senescence-associated secretory phenotype, or SASP.