Bacterial programmed cell death: Making sense of a paradox

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219 Scopus citations


Although the concept of programmed cell death (PCD) in bacteria has been met with scepticism, a growing body of evidence suggests that it can no longer be ignored. Several recent studies indicate that the phenotypic manifestations of apoptosis, which are processes that are associated with ordered cellular disassembly in eukaryotes, are conserved in bacteria. In this Opinion article, I propose a model for the coordinated control of potential bacterial PCD effectors and argue that the processes involved are functionally analogous to eukaryotic PCD systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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