The role of apoptosis-induced proliferation for regeneration and cancer

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Cancer Biology | Cell Biology | Genetics and Genomics | Molecular Biology


Genes dedicated to killing cells must have evolved because of their positive effects on organismal survival. Positive functions of apoptotic genes have been well established in a large number of biological contexts, including their role in eliminating damaged and potentially cancerous cells. More recently, evidence has suggested that proapoptotic proteins-mostly caspases-can induce proliferation of neighboring surviving cells to replace dying cells. This process, that we will refer to as "apoptosis-induced proliferation," may be critical for stem cell activity and tissue regeneration. Depending on the caspases involved, at least two distinct types of apoptosis-induced proliferation can be distinguished. One of these types have been studied using a model in which cells have initiated cell death, but are prevented from executing it because of effector caspase inhibition, thereby generating "undead" cells that emit persistent mitogen signaling and overgrowth. Such conditions are likely to contribute to certain forms of cancer. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of apoptosis-induced proliferation and discuss its relevance for tissue regeneration and cancer.

DOI of Published Version



Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2012 Aug 1;4(8):a008797. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a008797. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID