Which organelle is most active in programmed cell death?
The mitochondrion is the organelle that is most active in programmed cell death. The mitochondrion regulates the release of proteins from the space between its inner and outer membranes that, once released, trigger the efficient digestion of the cell. Because of this important role that mitochondrion play in deciding cell fate, they have key impacts on many diseases and are being studied as a possible path to cures.
What is programmed cell death?
There are two major forms of cell death: known as apoptosis and necrosis. Apoptosis is often referred to as “programmed cell death” because it is a result of tightly regulated, genetically controlled, self-orchestrated processes. It is sometimes thought of as a form of “cell suicide.” On the other hand, necrosis occurs as a result of unplanned factors and would be considered an accident.
Death is a natural part of the cell’s life cycle. Apoptosis occurs when molecular pathways involving cell surface receptors or mitochondria are activated and results in the initiation of specialized proteases.
The process of apoptosis occurs as follows:
- Cells that are damaged, stressed, or triggered by body signals begin apoptosis.
- The cell begins to shrink and forms blebs. Proteins begin to break down cell components.
- Enzymes break down the nucleus and the cell sends signals to attract macrophages.
- The cell breaks down into smaller pieces containing cell components.
- Macrophages remove the cell parts
.Apoptosis is one method the body uses to get rid of unneeded or abnormal cells. There are some who think that the process of programmed cell death may be blocked in cancer cells, resulting in tumors and abnormal cell growth.
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