Abnormal Cell Death Caused by Starvation

Scientists from the Cell death group of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, led by Dr. Cristina Muñoz-Pinedo, have described the cell death process caused by starvation, in which the endoplasmic reticulum plays an important role. Their work, picked as the front page of Molecular and Cellular Biology journal, was completed inside TRAIN-ERs, a European collaborative action that studies diseases related with this cellular organelle.

Generally, programmed cell death — additionally called apoptosis — takes after a biochemical pathway related to the permeabilization of mitochondria; however, we noticed that in instances of cell death because of glucose lack, cells die in a startling way, following a procedure similar to what we would anticipate from an immune response.” clarifies Dr. Cristina Muñoz-Pinedo, last author of the study.

In cell-death related treatments such as chemotherapy, the mitochondrial pathway is activated. Rather, when starved, cells initiate the supposed “death receptors” on their membrane, which are ordinarily utilized by the lymphocytes of the immune system to attack and destroy contaminated cells.
IDIBELL researchers have been possessed the capacity to relate the activation of these membrane receptors to the endoplasmic reticulum, a cellular organelle involved in protein synthesis and lipid metabolism, as well as intracellular transport. “Feeling the anxiety created by the absence of supplements, the reticulum send an alert flag that triggers the presence of death receptors in the membrane”, says Dr. Muñoz-Pinedo.

“As indicated by our in vitro results, we expect this is the means by which the tumor cells situated in the focal point of a tumor — the supposed necrotic core — die, in light of the fact that there are never enough supplements in those zones”, adds the IDIBELL researcher. “Then again, in ischemia, other than the absence of oxygen there is likewise cell death because of absence of glucose, so this procedure could likewise be identified with the movement of the endoplasmic reticulum at a biochemical level”.