Dr. William Munroe
The accumulation of unhealthy cells in organisms that have entered cellular senescence or irreversible cell cycle arrest has been known to cause many age-related diseases due to their anti-apoptotic properties. As aging increases cells are more prone to entering senescence. It is possible that by regulating senescence pathways, aging can be delayed and in sum enhance the health of individuals. A group of drugs known as senolytics drugs have been recognized for their ability to promote apoptosis and the removal of harmful senescence cells by targeting pro-survival pathways. In this experiment, the BCL-XL pathway that regulates cell death will be analyzed through the application Molsoft. Protein-ligand docking features were used to find effective ligand-protein interactions in the form of low binding energies between senolytic ligands and anti-apoptotic proteins. Such results can also be potentially applied to planarian models since the anti-apoptotic protein BCL-XL is found within the cells of planaria Dugesia Japonica.