20 Years of Cell Death


20 Years of Cell Death

An Anniversary Publication of ICDS

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20 Years of Cell Death

An Anniversary Publication of ICDS

Beginning in 1990, research into apoptosis and programmed cell death expanded exponentially, as biomedical scientists recognized that most cells do not die accidentally, the commit suicide under specific conditions. This death is highly controlled, and several discoveries during that period confirmed that the timing and extent of cell death determined the normal development of embryos as well as whether adults lived healthy, balanced lives or whether they developed cancers, Alzheimer’s or other neurodegenerative diseases, or lupus or autoimmune disease.

This work recounts what we have learned in the last twenty years and where current research is taking us. In seventeen chapters written by founders and current leaders in the field, the discoveries and growth of ideas are explored, often from a personal and always highly readable basis, so that the book provides a solid background for senior and junior researchers as well as those trying to grasp its importance and those interested in how scientific fields are born and how they grow. The various chapters trace the simpler ideas with which we started and how they grew more complex. The first part of the book addresses current understanding of the mechanisms by which cells self-destruct through apoptosis.and raises the question of what other roles the components of apoptosis play in healthy cells. In the second part, the authors look at the larger picture of apoptosis as a physiological process, under positive and negative control and determining the balance between cell birth and death. In Part 3, top researchers explore alternatives to apoptosis, such as autophagy and necroptosis. Finally, in part 4, the authors examine the impact of control of cell death in determining the outcome of disease states such as viral infection and cancer.

Over the past twenty years we have come to understand the mechanics and components of programmed cell deaths. For true clinical efficacy, we need to understand how the threshold is established at which cells commit to suicide, the extent to which their history and current metabolism changes that threshold, and why seemingly similar cells respond differently. Several of the authors address these questions and point to the directions of future research.

The International Cell Death Society has sponsored this work on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. By issuing it as an e-book and print on demand, it lowers the cost of this resource to a level where students, senior scientists, and scholars can find it within reach.


Table of Contents

Dedication and Acknowledgment

Chapter 1: Introduction (Lockshin and Zakeri)


Chapter 2: Endoplasmic Reticulum stress in Cancer and Cell Death: a time lapse (Agostinis)

Chapter 3: c-FLIP: A negative regulator of programmed cell death and a target for cancer therapy (Pennarun, Bucor, and Khosravi-Far)

Chapter 4: Transglutaminase Type2 and Cell Death: an historical overview. (Piacentini)

Chapter 5: Caspases: helpers and killers (Zhivotovsky)

Chapter 6: Seeking day jobs for all apoptosis-related factors – inside one perspective (Hardwick)


Chapter 7: Modern history of the study of cell death: 1964…1994…2014 (Zakeri and Lockshin)

Chapter 8: Efferocytosis: Molecular Mechanisms and Immune Signaling from Dying Cells (Kumar, Smith, and Birge)

Chapter 9: From caterpillars to clinic: IAP proteins and their antagonists (Vucic)

Chapter 10: How do cells stay alive? (Green, Llambi, and Fienberg)


Chapter 11. Apoptosis and Autophagy face to face: Apaf1 and Ambra1 as a paradigm (De Zio and Cecconi)

Chapter 12. Cell Death and Autophagy: A Historical Perspective (Gozuacik and Kig)

Chapter 13: Autophagic flux and cell death (Loos)

Chapter 14: Discovery of key mechanisms of cell death: from apoptosis to necroptosis (Yuan)


Chapter 15: Cell death and virus infection – a short review (Zakeri et al)

Chapter 16: Harnessing apoptosis pathways for childhood cancer (Fulda)

Chapter 17: South African medicinal plants inducing apoptosis in cancer cells: a treasure trove of anti-cancer agents? (van der Walt and Cronjé)

Additional information


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