The Metabolic Underpinnings of Ferroptosis

Cell Metab. 2020 Dec 1;32(6):920-937. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2020.10.011. Epub 2020 Nov 19.


Acute or chronic cellular stress resulting from aberrant metabolic and biochemical processes may trigger a pervasive non-apoptotic form of cell death, generally known as ferroptosis. Ferroptosis is unique among the different cell death modalities, as it has been mostly linked to pathophysiological conditions and because several metabolic pathways, such as (seleno)thiol metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, iron handling, mevalonate pathway, and mitochondrial respiration, directly impinge on the cells' sensitivity toward lipid peroxidation and ferroptosis. Additionally, key cellular redox systems, such as selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase 4 and the NAD(P)H/ferroptosis suppressor protein-1/ubiquinone axis, are at play that constantly surveil and neutralize oxidative damage to cellular membranes. Since this form of cell death emerges to be the root cause of a number of diseases and since it offers various pharmacologically tractable nodes for therapeutic intervention, there has been overwhelming interest in the last few years aiming for a better molecular understanding of the ferroptotic death process.

Keywords: FSP1; GPX4; ferroptosis; lipid peroxidation; redox metabolism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ferroptosis*
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Lipid Peroxidation*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism


  • Iron