Regulated cell death and adaptive stress responses
Eukaryotic cells react to potentially dangerous perturbations of the intracellular or extracellular microenvironment by activating rapid (transcription-independent) mechanisms that attempt to restore homeostasis. If such perturbations persist, cells may still try to cope with stress by activating delayed and robust (transcription-dependent) adaptive systems, or they may actively engage in cellular suicide. This regulated form of cell death can manifest with various morphological, biochemical and immunological correlates, and constitutes an ultimate attempt of stressed cells to maintain organismal homeostasis. Here, we dissect the general organization of adaptive cellular responses to stress, their intimate connection with regulated cell death, and how the latter operates for the preservation of organismal homeostasis.