Ferroptosis: Process and function

Y. Xie, W. Hou, X. Song, Y. Yu, J. Huang, X. Sun, R. Kang, D. Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

332 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ferroptosis is a recently recognized form of regulated cell death. It is characterized morphologically by the presence of smaller than normal mitochondria with condensed mitochondrial membrane densities, reduction or vanishing of mitochondria crista, and outer mitochondrial membrane rupture. It can be induced by experimental compounds (e.g., erastin, Ras-selective lethal small molecule 3, and buthionine sulfoximine) or clinical drugs (e.g., sulfasalazine, sorafenib, and artesunate) in cancer cells and certain normal cells (e.g., kidney tubule cells, neurons, fibroblasts, and T cells). Activation of mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channels and mitogen-activated protein kinases, upregulation of endoplasmic reticulum stress, and inhibition of cystine/glutamate antiporter is involved in the induction of ferroptosis. This process is characterized by the accumulation of lipid peroxidation products and lethal reactive oxygen species (ROS) derived from iron metabolism and can be pharmacologically inhibited by iron chelators (e.g., deferoxamine and desferrioxamine mesylate) and lipid peroxidation inhibitors (e.g., ferrostatin, liproxstatin, and zileuton). Glutathione peroxidase 4, heat shock protein beta-1, and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 function as negative regulators of ferroptosis by limiting ROS production and reducing cellular iron uptake, respectively. In contrast, NADPH oxidase and p53 (especially acetylation-defective mutant p53) act as positive regulators of ferroptosis by promotion of ROS production and inhibition of expression of SLC7A11 (a specific light-chain subunit of the cystine/glutamate antiporter), respectively. Misregulated ferroptosis has been implicated in multiple physiological and pathological processes, including cancer cell death, neurotoxicity, neurodegenerative diseases, acute renal failure, drug-induced hepatotoxicity, hepatic and heart ischemia/reperfusion injury, and T-cell immunity. In this review, we summarize the regulation mechanisms and signaling pathways of ferroptosis and discuss the role of ferroptosis in disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-379
Number of pages11
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Xie, Y., Hou, W., Song, X., Yu, Y., Huang, J., Sun, X., ... Tang, D. (2016). Ferroptosis: Process and function. Cell Death and Differentiation, 23(3), 369-379. https://doi.org/10.1038/cdd.2015.158