Module Handbook

  • Dynamischer Default-Fachbereich geändert auf BIO

Course BIO-BIO-03-K-7

Molecular Mechanisms of Cell Ageing (V, 3.0 LP)

Course Type

SWS Type Course Form CP (Effort) Presence-Time / Self-Study
- V Lecture 3.0 CP
(V) 3.0 CP


CP, Effort 3.0 CP = 90 h
Position of the semester 1 Sem. in WiSe
Level [7] Master (Advanced)
Language [EN] English
Area of study [BIO-BIO] Biology (generic)
Livecycle-State [NORM] Active

Possible Study achievement

  • Verification of study performance: proof of successful participation in written examination
    A 20-question written test is required to pass the exam, the written test requires a score of 50% or greater to pass.


This course is focused on the hallmarks of ageing in different organisms, with special emphasis on the molecular and cellular bases such as: deficiencies in DNA repair mechanisms in aged cells, mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere shortening, cellular senescence, alterations in epigenetic marks, loss of proteostasis, microbiome alterations, beneficial effects of dietary restriction in longevity etc.

Each chapter starts with a short overview of the discussed issue (e.g. repair mechanisms of DNA lesions, mitochondial or telomere functions, what is epigenetics and DNA / histone epigenetic modifications) followed by a closer description of the interconnection between the discussed topic and cellular ageing.

Syllabus: ageing in human population, ageing in different organisms, ageing and cancer, theories of ageing, stochastic nature of the ageing process, programmed theories of ageing, damage-based theories of ageing, progeroid syndromes, protein oxidation in ageing, nuclear architecture in ageing, telomere attrition, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, caloric restriction, stem cell exhaustion, altered intercellular communication, the influence of the microbiome to ageing, anti-ageing medicine


The hallmarks of aging. López-Otín C, Blasco MA, Partridge L, Serrano M, Kroemer G., The Hallmarks of Aging, Cell. 2013 June 6; 153(6): 1194–1217. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.039.

Fedor Galkin, Polina Mamoshina, Alex Aliper, João Pedro de Magalhães, Vadim N Gladyshev, Alex Zhavoronkov. Biohorology and biomarkers of aging: Current state-of-the-art, challenges and opportunities. Ageing Res Rev, 2020; 60:101050. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2020.101050

Susmita Kaushik & Ana Maria Cuervo, Proteostasis and aging, Nature Medicine 21, 1406–1415 (2015) doi:10.1038/nm.4001

Jan M. van Deursen, The role of senescent cells in ageing, Nature 509, 439–446, 2014, doi:10.1038/nature13193

Procházková Schrumpfová, Miloslava Fojtová and Jirí Fajkus. Telomeres in Plants and Humans: Not So Different, Not So Similar. Cells 2019, 8, 58; doi:10.3390/cells8010058

L Bosch-Presegué and A Vaquero, Sirtuins in stress response: guardians of the genome, Oncogene (2014) 33, 3764–3775; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.344

Roberto Zoncu, David M. Sabatini, and Alejo Efeyan, mTOR: from growth signal integration to cancer, diabetes and ageing, Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Jan;12(1):21-35. doi: 10.1038/nrm3025

Luigi Fontana and Linda Partridge, Promoting Health and Longevity through Diet: from Model Organisms to Humans, Cell. 2015 Mar 26; 161(1): 106–118. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.02.020


Registration via KIS required.

Requirements for attendance (informal)

Students should have elementary knowledge of molecular or cellular biology.

Requirements for attendance (formal)


References to Course [BIO-BIO-03-K-7]

Course-Pool Name
[BIO-CC-KPOOL-6] Courses of Choice