About this Research Topic
Cell death (CD) is a fundamental biological process that is indispensable for the maintenance of life by serving for the controlled elimination of cells. CD is tightly linked to organismal survival and necessary for normal development and maintenance of the integrity of tissues and organs. Dissecting the mechanisms and cellular events underlying CD is therefore mandatory for understanding the basic principles of normal and abnormal biological processes, such as development, differentiation, regeneration, ischemic injury, and ageing. Maladaptive or insufficient CD contributes to diverse pathophysiological conditions like embryonic and developmental disorders, cancer, (auto)immune diseases, neurodegeneration, endocrine dysfunctions, and premature ageing. Thus, targeting CD - both inhibiting and inducing it - is increasingly utilized as a major preventive and therapeutic strategy for health maintenance and in medicine.
Studies of past several decades characterized CD as a surprisingly complex phenomenon. Apart from the two major types of CD, apoptosis and necrosis, recent work identified numerous additional (sub)forms of CD. These include oncosis, necroptosis, parthanatos, anoikis, entotic CD, NETotic CD, immunogenic CD, lysosome-dependent CD, ferroptosis, oxeiptosis, sarmoptosis, autosis, autolysis, paraptosis, pyroptosis, alkaliptosis, phagoptosis, eryptosis, chondroptosis, autophagic CD, mitoptosis, methuosis and the mitotic catastrophe-driven CD. Although all these forms of CD involve very diverse mechanisms, their successful execution relies on tightly regulated transport of ions, organic solutes and water across the plasma membrane and/or organelle membranes.
Water transport across plasmalemma and organellar membranes is a normal physiological process, which is crucial for the regulation of cellular hydration and cell volume and the manifold functions governed by them. It has been found that many forms of CD involve very specific modification of ion and water transport as well as release of organic substances such as glutamate and ATP. For example, it has been shown that the very initial event in apoptosis is the loss of cellular water due to activation of distinct ion channels and transporters. In contrast, necrotic cell death is associated with an uncontrolled water accumulation via Donnan mechanism and due to increased concentrations of ions and other osmolytes within the cell, which promotes cellular and organelle swelling, and ultimately leads to membrane rupture and cell lysis.
This Research Topic aims to highlight the state-of-the-art Reviews and cutting-edge Original Research articles exploring ions and water transport in CD. We welcome contributions from all relevant fields of science.
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