The implication of ROCK 2 as a potential senotherapeutic target via the suppression of the harmful effects of the SASP: Do senescent cancer cells really engulf the other cells?

Şimay Demir Y. D., Özdemir A., Sucularlı C., Benhür E., Ark M.

Cellular signalling, vol.84, pp.110007, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 84
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2021.110007
  • Journal Name: Cellular signalling
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.110007
  • Keywords: Senescent cell secretome, Chemotherapy-induced senescence, Rho, ROCK pathway, Senescence-associated secretory phenotype, Senotherapeutic, RHO-KINASE, TUMOR-CELLS, CELLULAR SENESCENCE, MACROPHAGE POLARITY, SECRETORY PHENOTYPE, CYTOKINE SECRETION, INHIBITION, PHOSPHORYLATION, ACTIVATION, MECHANISMS
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Chemotherapy-induced senescent cancer cells secrete several factors in their microenvironment called SASP. Accumulated evidence states that SASP is responsible for some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy such as drug resistance and the induction of cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Therefore, to develop senolytic and/or senomorphic drugs, targeting the senescent cells gains importance as a new strategy for preventing the damage that senescent cancer cells cause. In the current work, we evaluated whether Rho/Rho kinase pathway has the potential to be used as a target pathway for the development of senolytic and/or senomorphic drugs in doxorubicin-induced senescent cancer cell lines. We have determined that inhibition of Rho/Rho kinase pathway with CT04 and Y27632 reduced the secretory activity of senescent cancer cells and changed the composition of SASP. Our results indicate that ROCK 2 isoform was responsible for these observed effects on the SASP. In addition, non-senescent cancer cell proliferation and migration accelerated by senescent cells were set back to the pre-induction levels after ROCK inhibition. Moreover, contrary to the previous observations, another important finding of the current work is that senescent HeLa and A549 cells did not engulf the non-senescent HeLa, A549 cells, and non-cancer HUVEC. These results indicate that ROCK inhibitors, in particular ROCK 2 specific inhibitors, have the potential to be developed as novel senomorphic drugs. In addition, we found that all senescent cancer cells do not share the same engulfment ability, and this process should not be generalized.