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REVIEW: Apoptotic Features in Non-Apoptotic Processes

Margarita A. Savitskaya1, Ilya I. Zakharov1, and Galina E. Onishchenko1,a*

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

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received June 21, 2021; Revised January 2, 2022; Accepted January 15, 2022
Apoptosis is the most thoroughly studied type of regulated cell death. Certain events, such as externalization of phosphatidylserine (PS) into the outer leaflet of plasma membrane, mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization, caspase cascade activation, DNA fragmentation and blebbing, are widely considered to be hallmarks of apoptosis as well as being traditionally viewed as irreversible. This review shows that under particular circumstances these events can also participate in physiological processes not associated with initiation of apoptosis, such as cell differentiation, division, and motility, as well as non-apoptotic types of cell death. Moreover, these events may often be reversible. This review focuses on three processes: phosphatidylserine externalization, blebbing, and activation of apoptotic caspases. Mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization and DNA fragmentation are not discussed.
KEY WORDS: apoptosis, caspase activation, MOMP, PS externalization, blebbing

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297922030014