Related topics: cell death

Biochemists discover an enzyme to stop cell death

RUDN biochemists found out that apoptosis (programmed cell death) can be regulated using the EndoG enzyme. The discovery will lead to a better understanding of cell and tissue protection mechanisms. The results of the study ...

How a mitochondrial enzyme can trigger cell death

Cytochrome c is a small enzyme that plays an important role in the production of energy by mitochondria. It is also involved in signaling dangerous problems that warrant apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Using solid-state ...

Biologists study enzymes that help wheat to fight fungi

Scientists from I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University together with their Russian colleagues studied the reaction of wheat plants to damage caused by pathogenic fungi. They examined the activation of enzymes ...

How protein interactions drive cellular death

Researchers at the Universities of Tübingen and Konstanz, the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, the Max Planck Institute of Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, and the German Cancer Research Centers have worked together to gain new ...

Decisive steps in the initiation of programmed cell death revealed

When cells age or suffer damage, they are able to actively bring about their own pre-programmed death – a "suicide" process known as apoptosis. A desensitization of this process determines the change from a normal cell ...

page 1 from 4

Apoptosis

Apoptosis ( /ˌæpəˈtoʊsɪs/) is the process of programmed cell death (PCD) that may occur in multicellular organisms. Biochemical events lead to characteristic cell changes (morphology) and death. These changes include blebbing, cell shrinkage, nuclear fragmentation, chromatin condensation, and chromosomal DNA fragmentation. (See also Apoptosis DNA fragmentation.) Unlike necrosis, apoptosis produces cell fragments called apoptotic bodies that phagocytic cells are able to engulf and quickly remove before the contents of the cell can spill out onto surrounding cells and cause damage.

In contrast to necrosis, which is a form of traumatic cell death that results from acute cellular injury, apoptosis, in general, confers advantages during an organism's life cycle. For example, the differentiation of fingers and toes in a developing human embryo occurs because cells between the fingers apoptose; the result is that the digits are separate. Between 50 and 70 billion cells die each day due to apoptosis in the average human adult. For an average child between the ages of 8 and 14, approximately 20 billion to 30 billion cells die a day.

Research in and around apoptosis has increased substantially since the early 1990s. In addition to its importance as a biological phenomenon, defective apoptotic processes have been implicated in an extensive variety of diseases. Excessive apoptosis causes atrophy, whereas an insufficient amount results in uncontrolled cell proliferation, such as cancer.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA