Cellular lifespan and senescence signaling in embryonic stem cells

Takumi Miura, Mark P. Mattson, Mahendra S. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Most mammalian cells when placed in culture will undergo a limited number of cell divisions before entering an unresponsive non-proliferating state termed senescence. However, several pathways that are activated singly or in concert can allow cells to bypass senescence at least for limited periods. These include the telomerase pathway required to maintain telomere ends, the p53 and Rb pathways required to direct senescence in response to DNA damage, telomere shortening and mitogenic signals, and the insulin-like growth factor - Akt pathway that may regulate lifespan and cell proliferation. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to these pathways in embryonic stem (ES) cells and suggest that ES cells are immortal because these pathways are tightly regulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-343
Number of pages11
JournalAging Cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Aging
  • Akt signaling
  • Cell cycle
  • ES cells
  • p53
  • Rb
  • Senescence
  • Telomerase
  • Telomere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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