Cell death has a fundamental impact on the evolution of degenerative disorders, autoimmune processes, inflammatory diseases, tumor formation and immune surveillance. Over the past couple of decades extensive studies have uncovered novel cell death pathways, which are independent of apoptosis. Among these is necroptosis, a tightly regulated, inflammatory form of cell death. Necroptosis contribute to the pathogenesis of many diseases and in this review, we will focus exclusively on necroptosis in humans. Necroptosis is considered a backup mechanism of apoptosis, but the in vivo appearance of necroptosis indicates that both caspase-mediated and caspase-independent mechanisms control necroptosis. Necroptosis is regulated on multiple levels, from the transcription, to the stability and posttranslational modifications of the necrosome components, to the availability of molecular interaction partners and the localization of receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 (RIPK1), receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 3 (RIPK3) and mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL). Accordingly, we classified the role of more than seventy molecules in necroptotic signaling based on consistent in vitro or in vivo evidence to understand the molecular background of necroptosis and to find opportunities where regulating the intensity and the modality of cell death could be exploited in clinical interventions. Necroptosis specific inhibitors are under development, but >20 drugs, already used in the treatment of various diseases, have the potential to regulate necroptosis. By listing necroptosis-modulated human diseases and cataloging the currently available drug-repertoire to modify necroptosis intensity, we hope to kick-start approaches with immediate translational potential. We also indicate where necroptosis regulating capacity should be considered in the current applications of these drugs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research