Cellular senescence: all roads lead to mitochondria

Hélène Martini, João F. Passos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Senescence is a multi-functional cell fate, characterized by an irreversible cell-cycle arrest and a pro-inflammatory phenotype, commonly known as the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Emerging evidence indicates that accumulation of senescent cells in multiple tissues drives tissue dysfunction and several age-related conditions. This has spurred the academic community and industry to identify new therapeutic interventions targeting this process. Mitochondrial dysfunction is an often-unappreciated hallmark of cellular senescence which plays important roles not only in the senescence growth arrest but also in the development of the SASP and resistance to cell-death. Here, we review the evidence that supports a role for mitochondria in the development of senescence and describe the underlying mechanisms. Finally, we propose that a detailed road map of mitochondrial biology in senescence will be crucial to guide the future development of senotherapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1186-1202
Number of pages17
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • SASP
  • ageing
  • mitochondria
  • senescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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