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      Classification of cell death: recommendations of the Nomenclature Committee on Cell Death 2009

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          Abstract

          Different types of cell death are often defined by morphological criteria, without a clear reference to precise biochemical mechanisms. The Nomenclature Committee on Cell Death (NCCD) proposes unified criteria for the definition of cell death and of its different morphologies, while formulating several caveats against the misuse of words and concepts that slow down progress in the area of cell death research. Authors, reviewers and editors of scientific periodicals are invited to abandon expressions like 'percentage apoptosis' and to replace them with more accurate descriptions of the biochemical and cellular parameters that are actually measured. Moreover, at the present stage, it should be accepted that caspase-independent mechanisms can cooperate with (or substitute for) caspases in the execution of lethal signaling pathways and that 'autophagic cell death' is a type of cell death occurring together with (but not necessarily by) autophagic vacuolization. This study details the 2009 recommendations of the NCCD on the use of cell death-related terminology including 'entosis', 'mitotic catastrophe', 'necrosis', 'necroptosis' and 'pyroptosis'.

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          Most cited references 63

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          Caspases: the executioners of apoptosis.

           Gerald Cohen (1997)
          Apoptosis is a major form of cell death, characterized initially by a series of stereotypic morphological changes. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the gene ced-3 encodes a protein required for developmental cell death. Since the recognition that CED-3 has sequence identity with the mammalian cysteine protease interleukin-1 beta-converting enzyme (ICE), a family of at least 10 related cysteine proteases has been identified. These proteins are characterized by almost absolute specificity for aspartic acid in the P1 position. All the caspases (ICE-like proteases) contain a conserved QACXG (where X is R, Q or G) pentapeptide active-site motif. Capases are synthesized as inactive proenzymes comprising an N-terminal peptide (prodomain) together with one large and one small subunit. The crystal structures of both caspase-1 and caspase-3 show that the active enzyme is a heterotetramer, containing two small and two large subunits. Activation of caspases during apoptosis results in the cleavage of critical cellular substrates, including poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and lamins, so precipitating the dramatic morphological changes of apoptosis. Apoptosis induced by CD95 (Fas/APO-1) and tumour necrosis factor activates caspase-8 (MACH/FLICE/Mch5), which contains an N-terminus with FADD (Fas-associating protein with death domain)-like death effector domains, so providing a direct link between cell death receptors and the caspases. The importance of caspase prodomains in the regulation of apoptosis is further highlighted by the recognition of adapter molecules, such as RAIDD [receptor-interacting protein (RIP)-associated ICH-1/CED-3-homologous protein with a death domain]/CRADD (caspase and RIP adapter with death domain), which binds to the prodomain of caspase-2 and recruits it to the signalling complex. Cells undergoing apoptosis following triggering of death receptors execute the death programme by activating a hierarchy of caspases, with caspase-8 and possibly caspase-10 being at or near the apex of this apoptotic cascade.
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            Autophagy in cell death: an innocent convict?

            The visualization of autophagosomes in dying cells has led to the belief that autophagy is a nonapoptotic form of programmed cell death. This concept has now been evaluated using cells and organisms deficient in autophagy genes. Most evidence indicates that, at least in cells with intact apoptotic machinery, autophagy is primarily a pro-survival rather than a pro-death mechanism. This review summarizes the evidence linking autophagy to cell survival and cell death, the complex interplay between autophagy and apoptosis pathways, and the role of autophagy-dependent survival and death pathways in clinical diseases.
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              Immunological aspects of cancer chemotherapy.

              Accumulating evidence indicates that the innate and adaptive immune systems make a crucial contribution to the antitumour effects of conventional chemotherapy-based and radiotherapy-based cancer treatments. Moreover, the molecular and cellular bases of the immunogenicity of cell death that is induced by cytotoxic agents are being progressively unravelled, challenging the guidelines that currently govern the development of anticancer drugs. Here, we review the immunological aspects of conventional cancer treatments and propose that future successes in the fight against cancer will rely on the development and clinical application of combined chemo- and immunotherapies.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Cell Death & Differentiation
                Cell Death Differ
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1350-9047
                1476-5403
                January 2009
                October 10 2008
                January 2009
                : 16
                : 1
                : 3-11
                Article
                10.1038/cdd.2008.150
                2744427
                18846107
                © 2009

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