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Transcription factor HES-1 (Class B basic helix-loop-helix protein 39) (bHLHb39) (Hairy and enhancer of split 1) (Hairy homolog) (Hairy-like protein) (hHL) [BHLHB39] [HL] [HRY]


A Single-Cell Transcriptomic Atlas of Human Skin Aging.

Skin undergoes constant self-renewal, and its functional decline is a visible consequence of aging. Understanding human skin aging requires in-depth knowledge of the molecular and functional properties of various skin cell types. We performed single-cell RNA sequencing of human eyelid skin from healthy individuals across different ages and identified eleven canonical cell types, as well as six subpopulations of basal cells. Further analysis revealed progressive accumulation of photoaging-related changes and increased chronic inflammation with age. Transcriptional factors involved in the developmental process underwent early-onset decline during aging. Furthermore, inhibition of key transcription factors HES1 in fibroblasts and KLF6 in keratinocytes not only compromised cell proliferation, but also increased inflammation and cellular senescence during aging. Lastly, we found that genetic activation of HES1 or pharmacological treatment with quercetin alleviated cellular senescence of dermal fibroblasts. These findings provide a single-cell molecular framework of human skin aging, providing a rich resource for developing therapeutic strategies against aging-related skin disorders.


  • HES1
  • KLF6
  • aging
  • fibroblast
  • keratinocyte
  • quercetin
  • senescence
  • single-cell RNA sequencing
  • skin

Hypothesis: cell signalling influences age-related risk of colorectal cancer.

We propose that ageing is linked to colonic carcinogenesis through crosstalk between Wnt activity and signalling pathways related to ageing and senescence: progerin, klotho and mTOR. Mutations in the Wnt signalling pathway are responsible for the majority of colorectal cancers (CRCs); however, hyperactivation of Wnt signalling by butyrate, a breakdown product of dietary fibre, induces CRC cell apoptosis. This effect of butyrate may in part explain the protective action of fibre against CRC. Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome is a premature ageing disorder caused by accumulation of the progerin protein; however, healthy individuals also produce progerin in the course of their normal ageing. Progerin activates expression of the Wnt inhibitors HES1 and TLE1. Thus, we hypothesize that with age, the increasing expression of progerin suppresses butyrate-mediated Wnt hyperactivation and apoptosis, leading to increased CRC risk. Wild-type klotho contributes to a significantly increased lifespan; however, Klotho gene variants differ significantly between newborns and elderly. Klotho inhibits basal Wnt signalling activity; thus, the protein may function as a tumour suppressor for CRC. However, similar to progerin, klotho variants associated with lifespan differences may repress butyrate-mediated Wnt hyperactivation, and thus increase the risk of CRC. Finally, mTOR signalling has also been linked to human ageing, and crosstalk between Wnt and mTOR signalling may influence colonic tumourigenesis. Understanding how progerin, klotho and mTOR link ageing with colonic neoplastic development may lead to novel preventive and therapeutic strategies against CRC associated with age.

MeSH Terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging
  • Chemoprevention
  • Colorectal Neoplasms
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Risk Factors
  • Signal Transduction


  • Wnt
  • ageing
  • colorectal cancer
  • klotho
  • mTOR
  • progerin
  • rapamycin
  • senescence

A transcriptional roadmap to the senescence and differentiation of human oral keratinocytes.

Human epithelial cells undergo morphological and molecular changes leading to terminal differentiation and replicative senescence after a finite number of cell divisions during serial subculture. However, the target genes and their functional significance in the senescence and differentiation in normal human oral keratinocytes have been poorly defined. Here, we demonstrated normal human oral keratinocytes transcriptional signature profiling to senescence and differentiation. Using microarray analysis, our findings indicated that the gene expression profiles induced by serial subculture are distinct classes of gene. The greatest number of these altered genes was identified as being related to biological pathways of transport, cell proliferation, cell cycle, defense and immune response, cell death, transcription, apoptosis, and inflammatory response, suggesting that the serial subculture is able to induce a multitude of specific gene expression changes during senescence and differentiation. Several highly upregulated genes (IL-1β, S100A8, S100A9, MMP1, MMP9, IL-8, BHLHB2, HES1, and TWIST1) in response to the serial subculture in normal human oral keratinocytes were observed. In vitro and in vivo studies also exhibited a close relationship between senescence and differentiation of primary oral keratinocytes and expression of inflammatory molecules. These results suggest a new approach to determine the biological events underlying the pathogenesis of oral keratinocyte aging.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Genes, p16
  • Gingiva
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Keratinocytes
  • Mice
  • Protein Precursors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A


  • Human oral keratinocytes
  • cell differentiation
  • gene network.
  • replicative senescence