Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ferroptosis, a new type of cell death with potential applications

Ferroptosis, a new type of cell death,  is the iron dependent form of nonaptotic cell death triggered by  the oncogenic  RAS-selective lethal small molecule erastin (Nonapoptotic forms of cell death may facilitate the selective elimination of some tumor cells or be activated in specific pathological states). Ferroptosis is dependent upon intracellular iron, but not other metals, and is morphologically, biochemically, and genetically distinct from
 apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagy.  Erastin  inhibits cystine uptake by the cystine/glutamate antiporter,  creating a void in the antioxidant defenses of the cell and ultimately leading to iron-dependent,  oxidative death. Thus, activation of ferroptosis results in the nonapoptotic destruction of certain cancer cells. 
[Image Courtesy: Dixon et al (2012) Cell Volume 149: 1060–1072]

[click here to read the original article]
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