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Crosstalk between apoptosis, necrosis and autophagy

Vassiliki Nikoletopoulou, Maria Markaki, Konstantinos Palikaras, Nektarios Tavernarakis
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2013, 1833 (12): 3448-3459
23770045
Apoptosis and necrosis are the two major modes of cell death, the molecular mechanisms of which have been extensively studied. Although initially thought to constitute mutually exclusive cellular states, recent findings reveal cellular contexts that require a balanced interplay between these two modes of cellular demise. Several death initiator and effector molecules, signaling pathways and subcellular sites have been identified as key mediators in both processes, either by constituting common modules or alternatively by functioning as a switch allowing cells to decide which route to take, depending on the specific situation. Importantly, autophagy, which is a predominantly cytoprotective process, has been linked to both types of cell death, serving either a pro-survival or pro-death function. Here we review the recent literature that highlights the intricate interplay between apoptosis, necrosis and autophagy, focusing on the relevance and impact of this crosstalk in normal development and in pathology. This article is part of a Special Section entitled: Cell Death Pathways.

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