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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2393;

Dynamic Reorganization of the Cytoskeleton during Apoptosis: The Two Coffins Hypothesis

Centro Andaluz de Biología del Desarrollo (CABD), and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red: Enfermedades Raras, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Universidad Pablo de, Carretera de Utrera Km 1, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
Grupo de Neurodesarrollo, Unidad de Gestión de Pediatría, Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla (IBIS), Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 October 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 9 November 2017 / Published: 11 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemically-Induced DNA Damage, Mutagenesis, and Cancer)
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During apoptosis, cells undergo characteristic morphological changes in which the cytoskeleton plays an active role. The cytoskeleton rearrangements have been mainly attributed to actinomyosin ring contraction, while microtubule and intermediate filaments are depolymerized at early stages of apoptosis. However, recent results have shown that microtubules are reorganized during the execution phase of apoptosis forming an apoptotic microtubule network (AMN). Evidence suggests that AMN is required to maintain plasma membrane integrity and cell morphology during the execution phase of apoptosis. The new “two coffins” hypothesis proposes that both AMN and apoptotic cells can adopt two morphological patterns, round or irregular, which result from different cytoskeleton kinetic reorganization during the execution phase of apoptosis induced by genotoxic agents. In addition, round and irregular-shaped apoptosis showed different biological properties with respect to AMN maintenance, plasma membrane integrity and phagocyte responses. These findings suggest that knowing the type of apoptosis may be important to predict how fast apoptotic cells undergo secondary necrosis and the subsequent immune response. From a pathological point of view, round-shaped apoptosis can be seen as a physiological and controlled type of apoptosis, while irregular-shaped apoptosis can be considered as a pathological type of cell death closer to necrosis. View Full-Text
Keywords: apoptosis; apoptotic microtubule network; microtubules; actin filaments; genotoxic drugs apoptosis; apoptotic microtubule network; microtubules; actin filaments; genotoxic drugs

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Povea-Cabello, S.; Oropesa-Ávila, M.; De la Cruz-Ojeda, P.; Villanueva-Paz, M.; De la Mata, M.; Suárez-Rivero, J.M.; Álvarez-Córdoba, M.; Villalón-García, I.; Cotán, D.; Ybot-González, P.; Sánchez-Alcázar, J.A. Dynamic Reorganization of the Cytoskeleton during Apoptosis: The Two Coffins Hypothesis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2393.

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