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Routes to cell death in animal and plant kingdoms: from classic apoptosis to alternative ways to die—a review

  • Autori: Emanuele, S.; Oddo, E.; D’Anneo, A.; Notaro, A.; Calvaruso, G.; Lauricella, M.; Giuliano, M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2018
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Programmed cell death is fundamental for multicellular organisms either in animal or plant kingdom. Classic apoptosis, which represents the best studied form of cell death, is dependent on caspase protease activity in animals. These proteases are not present in plants, where caspase-like activities, including metacaspases, are involved in the execution of plant cell death. Beyond apoptosis, various non-apoptotic forms of cell death also exist, including autophagy, necroptosis, pyroptosis, and ferroptosis. These types of cell death can be activated independently of apoptosis and sometimes occur when apoptosis is inhibited. Non-apoptotic forms of cell death are best characterized in animals, whereas, in plants, the literature is less extensive, but the molecular executioners of plant cell death are becoming clearer. The aim of this review is to describe different types of cell death and the mechanisms involved in animals and plants, highlighting similarities and differences in the two kingdoms. Moreover, implications of cell death pathways in cancer are discussed.