The MIFstep in parthanatos

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Science  07 Oct 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6308, pp. 36-37
DOI: 10.1126/science.aai8756

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If we knew how cells die, we might be able to prevent cell death, thereby saving vital tissues and organs in diseases as diverse as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, liver and kidney failure, and neurodegenerative diseases of the brain. Indeed, it has become clear from recent studies on anastasis, or reversal of apoptotic cell death (1), that cells can survive many severe insults and recover completely. On page 82 of this issue, Wang et al. (2) show that cell death can be prevented by blocking the breakdown of DNA that is a hallmark of a set of related cell death subtypes, grouped under the name of parthanatos (3).