Overview of signal transduction pathways involved in apoptosis. Cell death is the event of example of programmed cell death biological cell ceasing to carry out its functions.
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This may be the result of the natural process of old cells dying and being replaced by new ones, or may result from such factors as disease, localized injury, or the death of the organism of which the cells are part. Apoptosis or Type I cell-death, and autophagy or Type II cell-death are both forms of programmed cell death, while necrosis is a non-physiological process that occurs as a result of infection or injury. Mitotic catastrophe is a mode of cell death that is due to premature or inappropriate entry of cells into mitosis. It is the most common mode of cell death in cancer cells exposed to ionizing radiation and many other anti-cancer treatments. Autophagy is cytoplasmic, characterized by the formation of large vacuoles that eat away organelles in a specific sequence prior to the destruction of the nucleus.
Other pathways of programmed cell death have been discovered. Plant cells undergo particular processes of PCD similar to autophagic cell death. However, some common features of PCD are highly conserved in both plants and metazoa. Ischemic cell death, or oncosis, is a form of accidental, or passive cell death that is often considered a lethal injury. Pyroptosis is a highly inflammatory form of programmed cell death that occurs most frequently upon infection with intracellular pathogens and is likely to form part of the antimicrobial response in myeloid cells.