Mitochondria: Are they causal players in cellular senescence?

Clara Correia-Melo, João F. Passos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Cellular senescence entails an irreversible cell-cycle arrest characterised by drastic cytomorphological and metabolic changes. In recent years, the implications of cellular senescence in physiological and pathological settings, such as ageing and cancer, have gained firm ground. It is, therefore, important to understand the mechanisms underpinning the establishment and maintenance of senescence. Age-dependent alterations in cellular metabolic processes are greatly driven by changes in mitochondrial function and homeostasis. Classically, mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in cellular senescence mainly by promoting oxidative damage-induced cell-cycle arrest; however, emerging data suggests that other mitochondrial-dependent factors play an important role in the induction of senescent phenotypes. Here we review the role of mitochondrial homeostatic mechanisms, mitochondrial metabolites and ROS generation in the signalling pathways leading to the induction and maintenance of cellular senescence and discuss how this may contribute to the ageing process. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1373-1379
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Cellular senescence and ageing
  • Mitochondria
  • Mitochondrial homeostatic mechanisms
  • Mitochondrial metabolites
  • Reactive Oxygen Species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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