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TGF-β signaling alters H4K20me3 status via miR-29 and contributes to cellular senescence and cardiac aging

Jul. 06,2018

Prof. Wei Tao published a paper on Nature Communications.

Cellular senescence is a well-orchestrated programmed process involved in age-related pathologies, tumor suppression and embryonic development. TGF-β/Smad is one of the predominant pathways that regulate damage-induced and developmentally programmed senescence. Here we show that canonical TGF-β signaling promotes senescence via miR-29-induced loss of H4K20me3. Mechanistically, oxidative stress triggers TGF-β signaling. Activated TGF-β signaling gives rise to acute accumulation of miR-29a and miR-29c, both of which directly suppress their novel target, Suv4-20h, thus reducing H4K20me3 abundance in a Smad-dependent manner, which compromises DNA damage repair and genome maintenance. Loss of H4K20me3 mediated by the senescent TGF-β/miR-29 pathway contributes to cardiac aging in vivo. Disruption of TGF-β signaling restores H4K20me3 and improves cardiac function in aged mice. Our study highlights the sequential mechanisms underlying the regulation of senescence, from senescence-inducing triggers to activation of responsive signaling followed by specific epigenetic alterations, shedding light on potential therapeutic interventions in cardiac aging.

Original link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04994-z