Research ArticleAging

A genome-wide CRISPR-based screen identifies KAT7 as a driver of cellular senescence

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Science Translational Medicine  06 Jan 2021:
Vol. 13, Issue 575, eabd2655
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abd2655

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Slowing cellular senescence

Whereas cellular senescence is known to promote aging, many of the mechanisms controlling this process remain poorly understood. Using human mesenchymal precursor cells (hMPCs) carrying pathogenic mutations of the premature aging diseases Werner syndrome and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, the authors conducted a genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9–based screen to identify genes that could affect cellular senescence. They identified KAT7, a histone acetyltransferase gene, as a driver of senescence. Inactivation of Kat7 in mice aging normally and in prematurely aging progeroid mice extended their life span. Although KAT7 requires further study in other cell types, these experiments highlight the utility of genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screens and shed further light on mechanisms controlling senescence.

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