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Reviewing the Mechanism of Ferroptosis and its Related Diseases
Ferroptosis is a recently discovered form of regulated cell death that is characterized by the accumulation of lipid peroxides and iron-dependent reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells. Unlike other forms of cell death such as apoptosis or necrosis, ferroptosis is distinct in its dependence on iron and lipid metabolism.
Mechanism of Ferroptosis
The mechanism of ferroptosis involves the dysregulation of cellular iron homeostasis and lipid peroxidation. It is primarily driven by the accumulation of lipid peroxides, which are generated through the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in cell membranes. This process is catalyzed by lipoxygenases and other enzymes.
Iron plays a crucial role in ferroptosis by promoting lipid peroxidation. It is transported into cells through transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1) and stored in ferritin. In ferroptosis, iron is released from ferritin and reacts with lipid hydroperoxides to generate highly reactive lipid radicals, leading to the propagation of lipid peroxidation and subsequent cell death.
Ferroptosis has been implicated in various diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, and ischemia-reperfusion injury. In neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, ferroptosis has been shown to contribute to neuronal cell death and neuroinflammation. In cancer, ferroptosis resistance has been observed in certain tumor types, leading to tumor progression and therapy resistance. Ischemia-reperfusion injury, which occurs during organ transplantation or stroke, involves ferroptotic cell death in the affected tissues.
Understanding the mechanism of ferroptosis and its role in disease pathogenesis has opened up new avenues for therapeutic interventions. Targeting key regulators of ferroptosis, such as the cystine/glutamate antiporter system xc-, glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), and iron metabolism, holds promise for the development of novel therapies.
Several small molecules and compounds have been identified as potential ferroptosis inducers or inhibitors. For example, erastin and RSL3 are known inducers of ferroptosis, while ferrostatins and liproxstatins have been shown to inhibit ferroptosis. These compounds can be used to modulate ferroptosis in specific disease contexts and potentially improve patient outcomes.
Ferroptosis is a unique form of regulated cell death that involves the accumulation of lipid peroxides and iron-dependent ROS. Its dysregulation has been implicated in various diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, and ischemia-reperfusion injury. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of ferroptosis opens up new opportunities for therapeutic interventions and the development of novel treatments.