Death-eating: how cell death pathways regulate autophagy

Death-eating: how cell death pathways regulate autophagy

Details of project 

When a cell decides to die, it prepares itself so it will be less damaging to the body. We recently discovered that the induction of the apoptotic cell suicide pathway induces autophagy, a ‘self-eating’ a process by which the cell digests its cytoplasm. (Lindqvist, PNAS 2014 111(23):8512-7; Reljic, Autophagy 2016 12(7):1083-93).

We now have evidence that autophagy is induced by other forms of programmed cell death, such as necroptosis. Using cell biology and genome-editing techniques in combination with clinically relevant drugs, this project aims to discover how and why necroptosis induces autophagy.

Understanding the different ways cells die, and what other pathways they are connected to, is vital to be able to design new cancer therapies as well as to better understand how our bodies react to currently available therapies.

About our research group 

Our group is interested in how cells kill themselves, and how the cell “chooses” which type of cell death to activate.

We are especially interested in how these cell death and cell survival pathways communicate with each other through signaling pathways to determine the ultimate fate of the cell. Our main research areas include studying the intersection of the cell death pathways apoptosis and necroptosis, inflammation (Conos, Cell Death Differ 2016, ahead of print) and the cell survival processes of autophagy and protein synthesis (Lindqvist, Cell Death Dis 2012 3:e409; Chambers 2013 Org Lett 15(6):1406-9). 



Dr Lisa Lindqvist
Cell Signalling and Cell Death division

Professor David Vaux

David Vaux
Deputy Director and Joint Division Head

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