MTOR regulates the pro-tumorigenic senescence-associated secretory phenotype by promoting IL1A translation

Remi-Martin Laberge, Arturo V Orjalo, Christopher K Patil, Adam Freund, Lili Zhou, Samuel C Curran, Albert R Davalos, Kathleen A Wilson-Edell, Su Liu, Chandani Limbad, Marco Demaria, Patrick Li, Gene B Hubbard, Yuji Ikeno, Martin Javors, Pierre-Yves Desprez, Christopher C Benz, Pankaj Kapahi, Peter S Nelson, Judith Campisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

579 Citations (Scopus)


The TOR (target of rapamycin) kinase limits longevity by poorly understood mechanisms. Rapamycin suppresses the mammalian TORC1 complex, which regulates translation, and extends lifespan in diverse species, including mice. We show that rapamycin selectively blunts the pro-inflammatory phenotype of senescent cells. Cellular senescence suppresses cancer by preventing cell proliferation. However, as senescent cells accumulate with age, the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) can disrupt tissues and contribute to age-related pathologies, including cancer. MTOR inhibition suppressed the secretion of inflammatory cytokines by senescent cells. Rapamycin reduced IL6 and other cytokine mRNA levels, but selectively suppressed translation of the membrane-bound cytokine IL1A. Reduced IL1A diminished NF-κB transcriptional activity, which controls much of the SASP; exogenous IL1A restored IL6 secretion to rapamycin-treated cells. Importantly, rapamycin suppressed the ability of senescent fibroblasts to stimulate prostate tumour growth in mice. Thus, rapamycin might ameliorate age-related pathologies, including late-life cancer, by suppressing senescence-associated inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-61
Number of pages13
JournalNature Cell Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cell Aging
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fibroblasts
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-1alpha
  • Interleukin-6
  • Male
  • Mice, SCID
  • Mitoxantrone
  • NF-kappa B
  • Phenotype
  • Prostatic Neoplasms
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Sirolimus
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Burden
  • Up-Regulation
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays

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