Mechanisms of cell competition: themes and variations

J Cell Biol. 2013 Mar 18;200(6):689-98. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201301051.


Cell competition is the short-range elimination of slow-dividing cells through apoptosis when confronted with a faster growing population. It is based on the comparison of relative cell fitness between neighboring cells and is a striking example of tissue adaptability that could play a central role in developmental error correction and cancer progression in both Drosophila melanogaster and mammals. Cell competition has led to the discovery of multiple pathways that affect cell fitness and drive cell elimination. The diversity of these pathways could reflect unrelated phenomena, yet recent evidence suggests some common wiring and the existence of a bona fide fitness comparison pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication*
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Signal Transduction*