Background: Cell senescence constitutes a critical process to respond to a variety of insults and adverse circumstances. Senescence involves the detention of DNA replication and cell proliferation, and hence, genetic programs associated with DNA damage response, chromosome stability, chromatin rearrangement, epigenetic reprogramming, and cell cycle are tightly linked to the senescent phenotype. Although senescence increases with age, the real implication of senescence regulation in the progress of aging in humans is largely discussed. In this context, reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation has also been postulated to play a critical role in cell homeostasis, aging processes, and control of proliferation.
Methods: The previous years have produced a high increase in data that refine our understanding of the role of ROS, and their relationship with epigenetic events, in determining cellular fate.
Results: The accumulating evidence regarding the epigenetic regulation of ROS-mediated processes provides promising tools to deepen in our comprehension of the process of senescence, and to develop novel therapeutic strategies. In this review, we aim to provide an overview of the relationships between oxidative stress and cell senescence.
Conclusion: We provide information about the role of epigenetic regulation in senescence and aging, collecting recent data from some examples of progeroid syndromes in which cell senescence, oxidative stress and epigenetic mechanisms are severely impaired. Finally, a collection of data is presented regarding current pharmacological approaches that either target or use oxidative stress-related factors or epigenetic regulators as strategies for disease treatment.