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REVIEW: The Problem of Apoptotic Processes Reversibility

I. I. Zakharov1, M. A. Savitskaya1, and G. E. Onishchenko1,a*

1Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119234 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received July 10, 2020; Revised July 23, 2020; Accepted July 23, 2020
Apoptosis is the best understood variant of regulated cell death, which has been considered irreversible for a long time. To date, an increasing amount of data has been accumulating indicating that key events of apoptosis, such as the externalization of phosphatidylserine, mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization, caspase activation, DNA damage, and cytoplasmic blebbing are not irreversible and can be involved in the normal cell functioning not associated with the induction of apoptosis. Anastasis – cell recovery after induction of apoptosis – can occur following elimination of proapoptotic stimuli. This can facilitate survival of damaged or tumor cells. This review describes key processes of apoptosis, which do not necessarily lead to cell death during normal cell activity as well as anastasis. Understanding mechanisms and consequences of apoptotic processes reversibility, on the one hand, could contribute to the improvement of existing therapeutic approaches for various diseases, including malignant neoplasms, and, on the other hand, could open up new possibilities for protecting cellular elements of tissues and organs from death during treatment of degenerative pathologies.
KEY WORDS: apoptosis, apoptosis reversibility, anastasis, caspase activation, MOMP, PS externalization, blebbing

DOI: 10.1134/S000629792010003X