PerspectiveApoptosis

Death of a Monopoly?

Science  04 May 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5518, pp. 865-866
DOI: 10.1126/science.1060885

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Summary

Hunot and Flavell discuss recent findings in Nature by Joza et al. that point to the existence of a new sort of cell death. Cell death is required during the development of an organism to remove portions of the body that will not be needed; this cell death usually requires destructive enzymes called caspases to perform the final demolition of the cell. But cavitation, an early developmental process in the mouse embryo that requires cell death, has now been suggested to occur through a caspase-independent pathway that instead uses a mitochondrial protein called AIF (apoptosis-inducing factor).