Role of galactose in cellular senescence

David J. Elzi, Meihua Song, Yuzuru Shiio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Cellular senescence has been proposed to play critical roles in tumor suppression and organismal aging, but the molecular mechanism of senescence remains incompletely understood. Here we report that a putative lysosomal carbohydrate efflux transporter, Spinster, induces cellular senescence in human primary fibroblasts. Administration of d-galactose synergistically enhanced Spinster-induced senescence and this synergism required the transporter activity of Spinster. Intracellular d-galactose is metabolized to galactose-1-phosphate by galactokinase. Galactokinase-deficient fibroblasts, which accumulate intracellular d-galactose, displayed increased baseline senescence. Senescence of galactokinase-deficient fibroblasts was further enhanced by d-galactose administration and was diminished by restoration of wild-type galactokinase expression. Silencing galactokinase in normal fibroblasts also induced senescence. These results suggest a role for intracellular galactose in the induction of cellular senescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalExperimental Gerontology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Galactokinase
  • Galactose
  • Lysosome
  • Senescence
  • Spinster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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