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Br J Cancer. 2009 Jan 13;100(1):118-22. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604802. Epub 2008 Dec 16.

Reversibility of apoptosis in cancer cells.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China.

Abstract

Apoptosis is a cell suicide programme characterised by unique cellular events such as mitochondrial fragmentation and dysfunction, nuclear condensation, cytoplasmic shrinkage and activation of apoptotic protease caspases, and these serve as the noticeable apoptotic markers for the commitment of cell demise. Here, we show that, however, the characterised apoptotic dying cancer cells can regain their normal morphology and proliferate after removal of apoptotic inducers. In addition, we demonstrate that reversibility of apoptosis occurs in various cancer cell lines, and in different apoptotic stimuli. Our findings show that cancer cells can survive after initiation of apoptosis, thereby revealing an unexpected potential escape mechanism of cancer cells from chemotherapy.

PMID:
19088725
PMCID:
PMC2634673
DOI:
10.1038/sj.bjc.6604802
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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