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Pedrera, L., Espiritu, R., A., Ros, U., Weber, J., Schmitt, A., Stroh, J., Hailfinger, S., von Karstedt, S., García-Sáez, A., J.

Ferroptotic pores induce Ca2+ fluxes and ESCRT-III activation to modulate cell death kinetics


Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent form of regulated necrosis associated with lipid peroxidation. Despite its key role in the inflammatory outcome of ferroptosis, little is known about the molecular events leading to the disruption of the plasma membrane during this type of cell death. Here we show that a sustained increase in cytosolic Ca2+ is a hallmark of ferroptosis that precedes complete bursting of the cell. We report that plasma membrane damage leading to ferroptosis is associated with membrane nanopores of a few nanometers in radius and that ferroptosis, but not lipid peroxidation, can be delayed by osmoprotectants. Importantly, Ca2+ fluxes during ferroptosis induce the activation of the ESCRT-III-dependent membrane repair machinery, which counterbalances the kinetics of cell death and modulates the immunological signature of ferroptosis. Our findings with ferroptosis provide a unifying concept that sustained increase of cytosolic Ca2+ prior to plasma membrane rupture is a common feature of regulated types of necrosis and position ESCRT-III activation as a general protective mechanism in these lytic cell death pathways.

Read more in Cell Death & Differentiation (2020)