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Comparing the Role of the p53 Gene and Telomerase Enzyme in ‘Accelerated Aging Due to Cancer’: A Literature Review

  • Dhalla, Paramvijay Singh1
  • Kaul, Arunima2
  • Garcia, Jian2
  • Bapatla, Anusha2
  • Khalid, Raheela2
  • Armenta-Quiroga, Ana S2
  • Khan, Safeera2
  • 1 Medicine, California Institute of Behavioral Neurosciences & Psychology, Fairfield, USA
  • 2 & Psychology, Fairfield, USA
Published Article
Cureus, Inc.
Publication Date
Oct 04, 2020
DOI: 10.7759/cureus.10794
PMCID: PMC7641464
PubMed Central
External links


Aging is defined as progressive physiological alterations in an organism that lead to senescence. In response to stress, when proliferative-competent cells undergo permanent, irreversible growth arrest (like replicative dividing limit, oncogene activation, oxidative stress, or deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage), it is termed as cellular senescence. Biomarkers p53, telomerase, and other inflammatory cytokines have a vital link with senescence, and directed use of these markers might be useful in manipulating cancer and the aging process. We included studies related to topics ' accelerated aging due to cancer', telomerase's relation to Aging and Cancer, p53's relation to Aging and Cancer, Atherosclerosis and Cancer from Search databases like PubMed and Google Scholar. We relied on peer-reviewed articles and included literature from the last 10 years written in the English language. Degenerative diseases in humans are usually linked to atherosclerosis, and atherosclerosis is associated with short leukocyte telomere length. Cancer itself and its treatment are linked with accelerated aging by causing progressive shortening of telomeres during cell replication, resulting in cell death. Gene p53 is known to have a dual effect that works as a tumor suppressor and has pro-aging side effects. In experimental studies, when p53 overcomes multiple regulatory mechanisms controlling its activity, then only the pro-aging side effects of p53 manifested. This might be a potential key for treating cancer without causing the side-effects of aging. In this review, we aim to explain and summarize the interdependent nature of p53, telomeres, and other conventional mechanisms of aging and cancer like inflammation, oxidative stress, uncontrolled proliferation, angiogenesis, micro ribonucleic acids (RNAs), and apoptosis, with a more synergistic approach that can help in developing new therapeutics and play a potential role in shaping modern human lifespan and revolutionize cancer treatment.

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