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FASEB J. 2009 Apr;23(4):978-84. doi: 10.1096/fj.08-114348. Epub 2008 Dec 12.

Cell sex: a new look at cell fate studies.

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  • 1Department of Therapeutic Research and Medicines Evaluation, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.


Cell death processes have been widely investigated in recent years in order to elucidate the different pathways involved in the complex machinery implicated in determining cell fate. Different forms of cell death have been described: Apart from the classical form of death known as necrosis, a well-characterized traumatic injury of the cell, several additional forms of cell death have been identified. Of these, apoptosis has been characterized in the greatest detail. Defects in the mechanisms of cell demise (that is, an excess of or decrease in apoptosis) have been associated with the pathogenesis of a number of human diseases. Here we review some new aspects derived from recent insights into this field, particularly the hypothesis that cells of males and females could display several different features, including those determining their fate.

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