Latino Studies at New York University

Ignacio A. Rodriguez Brenes

University of California, Irvine

September 30, 2014

Understanding the role of cellular replication limits as a tumor suppressor pathway

Cellular replication limits are thought to have evolved as a mechanism to protect against cancer in multicellular organisms by both curtailing the clonal expansion of cells and the sequential accumulation of mutations. This phenomenon known as Hayflick’s limit or replicative senescence is typically attributed to the shortening of telomeres during cell division.

In this talk we will use mathematical models to discuss the role of replicative limits as a cancer protecting mechanism in multiple settings: First, as a possible evolutionary force behind some commonly observed features in the architecture of hierarchically organized tissues; second, as a mechanism acting against precancerous mutations by influencing the fate of altered but non-neoplastic cells in healthy tissue; and third, by examining their effectiveness at later stages of carcinogenesis, after abnormal cell proliferation begins.