Cell death plays an important role in maintaining the homeostasis of multicellular organisms. It can occur in a controlled manner by apoptosis or autophagy. Cell death which occurs regardless of regulatory factors include necrosis, mitotic catastrophe or oncosis.
Apoptosis and necrosis are cellular process that leads to cell death. However their mechanisms are different, although factors triggering them can be similar. Necrosis and apoptosis have many different characteristics in terms of biochemistry and morphology.
There are two main pathways of apoptosis induction signal: receptor - dependent and mitochondrial. The outsider apoptotic pathway is induced by external factors stimulating membrane receptors having an intracellular domain called death domain.
Mitochondrial apoptotic pathway is activated by increased concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS), DNA damage, disorders electrolyte transport and an increase in the concentration of the calcium ions in the cytoplasm. In response to stress-factors, mitochondrial channels are opened, so that is released into the cytoplasm cytochrome C. This work is aimed at an overall description of exchanged processes.
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