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Pyroptosis is a form of proinflammatory cell death that depends on the gasdermin family of proteins. The main features of pyroptosis are altered membrane permeability, cell swelling, membrane rupture, and the ability to mobilize a strong immune response. The relationship between pyroptosis and cancer has become a popular topic in immunological research. Multiple strategies for inducing pyroptosis in cancer cells have been developed for cancer therapy, including chemotherapy, small molecule drugs, and nanomedicines. In this review, we systematically discuss recent advances in research on the mechanisms of pyroptosis, and compare pyroptosis with apoptosis and necroptosis from several aspects. The development of various experimental systems has accompanied rapid progress in this field, but little consensus on monitoring pyroptosis is currently available. We focus on techniques commonly used to monitor pyroptosis, and describe future techniques that may be used to increase our knowledge in this field. Overall, the advancement of pyroptosis detection methods will help researchers to better investigate the relationships between pyroptosis and various cancers, and should provide insights into the use of these promising tools for cancer treatments.


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Methods for monitoring cancer cell pyroptosis

Show Author's information Shuo Wang1,*Yuantong Liu1,*Lu Zhang1 ( )Zhijun Sun1,2 ( )
The State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Basic Science of Stomatology (Hubei-MOST) & Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedicine, Ministry of Education, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Department of Oral Maxillofacial-Head Neck Oncology, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

Pyroptosis is a form of proinflammatory cell death that depends on the gasdermin family of proteins. The main features of pyroptosis are altered membrane permeability, cell swelling, membrane rupture, and the ability to mobilize a strong immune response. The relationship between pyroptosis and cancer has become a popular topic in immunological research. Multiple strategies for inducing pyroptosis in cancer cells have been developed for cancer therapy, including chemotherapy, small molecule drugs, and nanomedicines. In this review, we systematically discuss recent advances in research on the mechanisms of pyroptosis, and compare pyroptosis with apoptosis and necroptosis from several aspects. The development of various experimental systems has accompanied rapid progress in this field, but little consensus on monitoring pyroptosis is currently available. We focus on techniques commonly used to monitor pyroptosis, and describe future techniques that may be used to increase our knowledge in this field. Overall, the advancement of pyroptosis detection methods will help researchers to better investigate the relationships between pyroptosis and various cancers, and should provide insights into the use of these promising tools for cancer treatments.

Keywords: cancer immunotherapy, Pyroptosis, caspase, gasdermin, cell death

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Received: 08 September 2021
Accepted: 01 November 2021
Published: 01 April 2022
Issue date: April 2022

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