REDOX-CONTROL OF SENESCENCE THROUGH TRP MODULATION
Cellular senescence has evolved as a protective mechanism to arrest growth of cells with oncogenic potential. While senescent cells have lost the ability to divide, they remain metabolically active and adapt a deleterious senescence associated secretory phenotype (SASP) central to the progression of several age-associated disease pathologies. The SASP is mechanistically regulated by the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1α) whose expression and activity is responsive to the senescence associated (SA) oxidant production and the accompanying disruption of calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis. Using primary IMR-90 human fetal lung fibroblasts as a model of replicative senescence, we explored the molecular underpinnings facilitating increased Ca2+ entry in senescent cells. We establish that the redox-responsive Transient Receptor Potential TRPC6 channel is compromised due to desensitization owing to SA increases in steady state hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production. SA dysregulation of Ca2+ is also accompanied by loss of response to H2O2-induced Ca2+ influx that can be rescued with catalase pre-treatments. Senescent cells are also insensitive to Ca2+ entry induced by hyperforin, a specific activator of TRPC6, that can be restored by catalase pre-treatments, further suggesting redox regulation of TRPC6 in senescence. Inhibition of TRPC6 channel activity restores ability of senescent cells to respond to peroxide-induced Ca2+ in addition to suppressing SASP gene expression. Furthermore, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling regulates SASP by means of modulating TRPC6 channel expression. Together, our findings provide compelling evidence that redox and mTOR-mediated regulation of TRPC6 channel modulates SASP gene expression. As TRP channels emerge as targets of pharmacologic intervention for numerous disease pathologies, it is exciting to speculate that effects of TRP interventions may be attributed in part to inhibition of senescence and the SASP.