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Nat Chem Biol. 2014 Jan;10(1):9-17. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1416.

The role of iron and reactive oxygen species in cell death.

Author information

1
1] Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA. [2] Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.
2
1] Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA. [2] Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA. [3] Department of Systems Biology, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA. [4] Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.

Abstract

The transition metal iron is essential for life, yet potentially toxic iron-catalyzed reactive oxygen species (ROS) are unavoidable in an oxygen-rich environment. Iron and ROS are increasingly recognized as important initiators and mediators of cell death in a variety of organisms and pathological situations. Here, we review recent discoveries regarding the mechanism by which iron and ROS participate in cell death. We describe the different roles of iron in triggering cell death, targets of iron-dependent ROS that mediate cell death and a new form of iron-dependent cell death termed ferroptosis. Recent advances in understanding the role of iron and ROS in cell death offer unexpected surprises and suggest new therapeutic avenues to treat cancer, organ damage and degenerative disease.

PMID:
24346035
DOI:
10.1038/nchembio.1416
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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