This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
B io Factsheet
cell death by suicide, following a well-defined sequence of events ‘built in’ to the cell a bubble-like structure on the cell surface, containing the remains of broken–down organelles a condition resulting from a loss of control of orderly cell division ‘from outside’ : A process or structure occurring outside the cell ‘from within’ : A process or structure occurring inside the cell
AIDS Apoptosis Bleb Cancer Extrinsic Intrinsic PCD acquired immune deficiency syndrome: A set of conditions in which the affected individual suffers opportunistic infections as a result of a depleted immune response
programmed cell death: Another name for apoptosis, emphasising that the sequence of events leading to cell suicide is ‘built in’ to the cell’s genetic programme.
Phagocyte a white blood cell which may remove target materials by ingestion within temporary vacuoles; the formation of vacuoles in this way is phagocytosis. Receptor a molecule, often on a cell surface, able to recognise and bind to a complementary molecule. This complementary molecule may then act as a signal for an intracellular process.
Cells do not live forever – eventually each one of them dies. Cells may be made to commit suicide – this is known as apoptosis or programmed cell death. Most cells undergo about 50 mitotic divisions (known as the Hayflick constant) before apoptosis. Cells which die by committing suicide do so in a well-organised manner (Fig.1): • They shrink • The DNA and protein in the nucleus is degraded (broken down) • The mitochondria are degraded • ‘Blebs’ develop on the cell surface • The ‘blebs’ are engulfed by phagocytes • The phagocytes release signals to inhibit inflammation
Fig 1 : Simple outline of apoptosis
1. Cell 'programmed' for apoptosis Nucleus Nucleus condensing 4. Nucleus fragments. 'Blebs' collected by phagocyte if phagocyte recognises cell for apoptosis Nucleus fragmenting
2. 'Signal' received Blebs Apoptotic body 3. Nucleus condenses and cell shrinks Phagocyte (i.e. macrophages) engulfs apoptotic bodies
and so cannot be made to ‘commit suicide’. Some infecting viruses may use their own protection system to prevent this happening! One of the HPV (Human Papilloma Viruses) implicated in causing cervical cancer does this by producing a protein that binds to and inhibits the p53 promoter of apoptosis. • It may be part of the normal developmental process for the organism. in which body tissues can be severely damaged. Autoimmunity Cell-mediated immune responses become less extensive as the challenge to the immune system is removed.curriculum-press. Cells with DNA damage produce large quantities of a protein. which acts as a powerful inducer of apoptosis. • It may be part of the body’s defences against pathogens or dangerous. If this process does not work effectively. Damage to DNA Damage to the DNA in a cell may make that cell become cancerous. the immune cells may cause autoimmune diseases. p53.co.221 Apoptosis Why do cells commit suicide? There are two reasons for this. such as rheumatoid arthritis. For example. During menstruation The endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus) is shed at the beginning of the menstrual cycle as apoptosis removes cells which hold the lining in place. Development of an organism Synapse formation During development of the nervous system apoptosis removes surplus cells so that synaptic connections can be made correctly between the appropriate cells needed in a particular nerve pathway. ‘Trimming’ and shaping The formation of fingers and toes on hands and feet needs the surplus tissue between them to be removed by apoptosis. www. During metamorphosis The reabsorption of the tail of a tadpole as it develops into a frog depends on apoptosis as the cells of the tail must be broken down before their components can be reabsorbed. damaged cells. This autoimmune response can be fatal. There is a danger that the active immune cells could attack the body of the host organism. Cancer cells Some forms of radio and chemotherapy set off apoptosis in cancer cells. so that the cancer cells destroy themselves and the threat to the whole organism is overcome. Some lung cancer cells prevent lymphocytes from recognising dangerous dividing cells by producing a decoy molecule on their surface so that the lymphocyte cannot bind and begin apoptosis. melanoma (the most dangerous form of skin cancer) cells avoid apoptosis by inhibiting the formation of one of the proteins that starts the process of breaking down cell proteins. so cytotoxic T-lymphocytes set off the process of apoptosis in each other (and even in themselves!). It is interesting that many cancerous cells have mutations in the gene producing this compound. or it may affect its normal pathway of development and cause birth defects. Some very severe and aggressive forms of cancer can prevent this happening.uk Bio Factsheet Fig 2 : Reasons for apoptosis Threats to an organism Infected cells Cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (white blood cells involved in defence against disease) kill virusinfected cells by making them undergo apoptosis. 2 .
.... Complete the following account of apoptosis by filling in the gaps...... nucleus.... Cells undergoing apoptosis can be recognised because they .. phagocytes...… Both internal and external signals eventually result in the destruction and removal of the cell by .g. or transmitted....... cytokines. A common internal signal is the presence of high levels of oxidants such as .... in size. 105 King Street... provided that their school is a registered subscriber. No part of these Factsheets may be reproduced..... Apoptosis and AIDS During AIDS the numbers of CD4 T cells in the affected individual fall dramatically.... Shropshire... because the ability to commit suicide appears to be ‘built in’ to every cell... programmed cell death........... and this individual cannot then mount an effective immune response.. and negative signals (such as high levels of oxidants (e. in any other form or by any other means. accumulation of incorrectly-shaped proteins and death activators that bind to specific receptors on the cell surface) which signal the start of apoptosis.................. .. stored in a retrieval system........... Curriculum Press......... causing the cells to commit suicide. Apoptosis is also known as .....................co.......................... Wellington. TF1 1NU..... Answers ... Bio Factsheets may be copied free of charge by teaching staff or students........ development of organism/with examples (max 4 marks)........... some of which come from inside the cell (intrinsic factors) and some of which come from outside the cell (extrinsic factors)........ break down and become enclosed in extensions of the cell surface membrane called .... CD4 T cells are infected by the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). targeting of tumour cells (1 mark). intrinsic............. 1.... Why is apoptosis important to living organisms? (8 marks) 2. It seems that these cells are killed by apoptosis because they produce too much of a receptor (called FAS) which can bind to a death activator. ISSN 1351-5136 3 2.......... mitochondria. ) or external ( ...... without the prior permission of the publisher. defence against pathogens/with examples (max 3 marks).. harmful radiation. Whether or not a cell commits suicide depends on a balance between two sets of signals: positive signals (such as growth factor for neurones and interleukin for mitosis of lymphocytes) which are needed for the cell to continue to survive............. The signals for apoptosis may be internal (. Practice Questions 1..g.... .....221 Apoptosis www..................... the ... in disease management e. (9 marks) Acknowledgements: This Factsheet was researched and written by Ron Pickering.... decrease/shrink. blebs.......uk Bio Factsheet Control of Apoptosis Apoptosis is controlled by a wide range of signals...curriculum-press............... peroxide ions/superoxide ions. peroxide ions)..... condenses and organelles such as ....... Bank House........ ).......... nitric oxide..... extrinsic... but it isn’t these particles that kill off the CD4 cells...........
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.