Membrane lipids and cell death: An overview

Ileana M. Cristea, Mauro Degli Esposti

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In this article we overview major aspects of membrane lipids in the complex area of cell death, comprising apoptosis and various forms of programmed cell death. We have focused here on glycerophospholipids, the major components of cellular membranes. In particular, we present a detailed appraisal of mitochondrial lipids that attract increasing interest in the field of cell death, while the knowledge of their re-modelling and traffic remains limited. It is hoped that this review will stimulate further studies by lipid experts to fully elucidate various aspects of membrane lipid homeostasis that are discussed here. These studies will undoubtedly reveal new and important connections with the established players of cell death and their action in promoting or blocking membrane alteration of mitochondria and other organelles. We conclude that the new dynamic era of cell death research will pave the way for a better understanding of the 'chemistry of apoptosis'. © 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)133-160
    Number of pages27
    JournalChemistry and Physics of Lipids
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - May 2004


    • Apoptosis
    • Bcl-2
    • Lipidomics
    • Membrane traffic
    • Mitochondria
    • Phospholipids


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