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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 128076, 15 pages
Review Article

Necroptotic Cell Death Signaling and Execution Pathway: Lessons from Knockout Mice

1Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, 05508-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Department of Animal Science, Federal Rural University of the Semiarid Region, 59625-900 Mossoró, RN, Brazil

Received 27 December 2014; Revised 24 March 2015; Accepted 16 April 2015

Academic Editor: Laura Soucek

Copyright © 2015 José Belizário et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Under stress conditions, cells in living tissue die by apoptosis or necrosis depending on the activation of the key molecules within a dying cell that either transduce cell survival or death signals that actively destroy the sentenced cell. Multiple extracellular (pH, heat, oxidants, and detergents) or intracellular (DNA damage and Ca2+ overload) stress conditions trigger various types of the nuclear, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), cytoplasmatic, and mitochondrion-centered signaling events that allow cells to preserve the DNA integrity, protein folding, energetic, ionic and redox homeostasis, thus escaping from injury. Along the transition from reversible to irreversible injury, death signaling is highly heterogeneous and damaged cells may engage autophagy, apoptotic, or necrotic cell death programs. Studies on multiple double- and triple- knockout mice identified caspase-8, flip, and fadd genes as key regulators of embryonic lethality and inflammation. Caspase-8 has a critical role in pro- and antinecrotic signaling pathways leading to the activation of receptor interacting protein kinase 1 (RIPK1), RIPK3, and the mixed kinase domain-like (MLKL) for a convergent execution pathway of necroptosis or regulated necrosis. Here we outline the recent discoveries into how the necrotic cell death execution pathway is engaged in many physiological and pathological outcome based on genetic analysis of knockout mice.