Mitochondria in focus: Targeting the cell-death mechanism

Humberto De Vitto, Roberta Palorini, Giuseppina Votta, Ferdinando Chiaradonna

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


An understanding of the mechanism of apoptosis has received a substantial amount of interest over the past decades. It is evident from many works that mitochondria play a pivotal role in keeping cell homeostasis in both physiological and pathological conditions. The ability of mitochondria to reprogram cell metabolism is a key function to cell life and death. Therefore, recent advances in mitochondrial bioenergetics have yielded underlying knowledge for basic biology and applied biology, particularly providing crucial insights in therapeutic strategies. A detailed scenario of full apoptosis biology exceeds the scope of this current chapter and has been covered elsewhere in the book (i.e., first and third chapters). In line with this, we discuss the role of mitochondrial morphology, mitochondrial bioenergetics, and cell metabolism into the context of cellular life‐or‐death decision, addressing how the contribution made by many apoptosis pathways has deepened our understanding of human diseases, especially for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationApoptosis and Beyond
Subtitle of host publicationThe Many Ways Cells Die
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)9781119432463
ISBN (Print)9781119432425
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Son Inc.


  • Apoptosis
  • Bcl‐2
  • Cancer
  • Mitochondrial bioenergetics
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Therapeutic targets


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