The Senolytic Drug JQ1 Removes Senescent Cells via Ferroptosis

Seokhyeong Go, Mikyung Kang, Sung Pil Kwon, Mungyo Jung, Ok Hee Jeon, Byung Soo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent, non-apoptotic programmed cell death. Cellular senescence contributes to aging and various age-related diseases through the expression of a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Senescent cells are often resistant to ferroptosis via increased ferritin and impaired ferritinophagy. In this study, we investigated whether treatment with JQ1 could remove senescent cells by inducing ferroptosis. METHODS: Senescence of human dermal fibroblasts was induced in vitro by treating the cells with bleomycin. The senolytic effects of JQ1 were evaluated using a SA-β gal assay, annexin V analysis, cell counting kit-8 assay, and qRT-PCR. Ferroptosis following JQ1 treatment was evaluated with qRT-PCR and BODIPY staining. RESULTS: At a certain range of JQ1 concentrations, JQ1 treatment reduced the viability of bleomycin-treated cells (senescent cells) but did not reduce that of untreated cells (non-senescent cells), indicating that JQ1 treatment can selectively eliminate senescent cells. JQ1 treatment also decreased SASP expression only in senescent cells. Subsequently, JQ1 treatment reduced the expression of ferroptosis-resistance genes in senescent cells. JQ1 treatment induced lipid peroxidation in senescent cells but not in non-senescent cells. CONCLUSION: The data indicate that JQ1 can eliminate senescent cells via ferroptosis. This study suggests ferroptosis as a new mechanism of senolytic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-850
Number of pages10
JournalTissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct


  • Cellular senescence
  • Ferroptosis
  • JQ1
  • Senolytic drug

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'The Senolytic Drug JQ1 Removes Senescent Cells via Ferroptosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this