Programmed cell death and its specific form apoptosis play an important role during development of multicellular organisms. They are crucial for morphogenesis and organ sculpting as well as for adjusting cell number in different systems. Removal of apoptotic cells is the last critical step of apoptosis. Apoptotic cells are properly and efficiently recognized and eliminated through phagocytosis, which is performed by professional and nonprofessional phagocytes. Phagocytosis of apoptotic cells or apoptotic cell clearance is a dynamic multistep process, involving interactions between phagocytic receptors and ligands on apoptotic cells, which are highly conserved in evolution. However, this process is extremely redundant in mammals, containing multiple factors playing similar roles in the process. Using model organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, zebrafish, and mouse permits addressing fundamental questions in developmental cell clearance by a comprehensive approach including powerful genetics and cell biological tools enriched by live imaging. Recent studies in model organisms have enhanced significantly our understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of apoptotic cell clearance during development. Here, we review the current knowledge and illuminate the great potential of the research performed in genetic models, which opens new directions in developmental biology.
|Title of host publication||Current Topics in Developmental Biology|
|Subtitle of host publication||Apoptosis and Development, 2015|
|Publisher||Academic Press Inc.|
|Number of pages||38|
|State||Published - 2015|
|Name||Current Topics in Developmental Biology|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank T. Schultheiss for comments on the manuscript and the Kurant laboratory members for discussions and constructive criticism. We gratefully acknowledge financial support for the work in our lab from the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 427/11), the Rappaport Institute and from the Allen and Jewell Prince Center for Neurodegenerative Disorders of the Brain.
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology