Your neighbours matter - non-autonomous control of apoptosis in development and disease

Cell Death Differ. 2016 Jul;23(7):1110-8. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2016.41. Epub 2016 May 13.


Traditionally, the regulation of apoptosis has been thought of as an autonomous process in which the dying cell dictates its own demise. However, emerging studies in genetically tractable multicellular organisms, such as Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila, have revealed that death is often a communal event. Here, we review the current literature on non-autonomous mechanisms governing apoptosis in multiple cellular contexts. The importance of the cellular community in dictating the funeral arrangements of apoptotic cells has profound implications in development and disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • ced-1 protein, C elegans
  • egr protein, Drosophila
  • Caspases
  • ced-3 protein, C elegans