Stress-induced premature senescence (SIPS) - Influence of sips on radiotherapy

Masatoshi Suzuki, David A. Boothman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Replicative senescence is a fundamental feature in normal human diploid cells and results from dysfunctional telomeres at the Hayflick cell division limit. Ionizing radiation (IR) prematurely induces the same phenotypes as replicative senescence prior to the Hayflick limit. This process is known as stress-induced premature senescence (SIPS). Since the cell cycle is irreversibly arrested in SIPS-induced cells, even if they are stimulated by various growth factors, it is thought that SIPS is a form of cell death, irreversibly eliminating replicating cells. IR-induced-focus formation of DNA repair proteins, a marker of DNA damage, is detected in SIPS as well as replicative senescent cells. Furthermore, both processes persistently induce cell cycle checkpoint mechanisms, indicating DNA damage created by ionizing radiation induces SIPS in normal cells, possibly by the same mechanisms as those occurring in replicative senescence. Interestingly, IR induces SIPS not only in normal cells, but also in tumor cells. Due to the expression of telomerase in tumor cells, telomere-dependent replicative senescence does not occur. However, SIPS is induced under certain conditions after IR exposure. Thus, cell death triggered by IR can be attributed to apoptosis or SIPS in tumor cells. However, metabolic function remains intact in SIPS-induced cancer cells, and recent studies show that senescence eliminate cells undergoing SIPS secrete various kinds of factors outside the cell, changing the microenvironment. Evidence using co-culture systems containing normal senescent stromal cells and epithelial tumor cells show that factors secreted from senescent stroma cells promote the growth of tumor epithelial cells both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, regulation of factors secreted from SIPS-induced stromal cells, as well as tumor cells, may affect radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Radiation Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Cellular senescence
  • Radiotherapy
  • Secretion factor
  • Stress-induced premature senescence
  • Stromal cell


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