The role of necroptosis: Biological relevance and its involvement in cancer

Laura Della Torre, Angela Nebbioso, Hendrik G. Stunnenberg, Joost H.A. Martens, Vincenzo Carafa, Lucia Altucci

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Regulated cell death mechanisms are essential for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Evasion of cell death is one of the most important hallmarks of cancer. Necroptosis is a caspase independent form of regulated cell death, investigated as a novel therapeutic strategy to eradicate apoptosis resistant cancer cells. The process can be triggered by a variety of stimuli and is controlled by the activation of RIP kinases family as well as MLKL. The well‐studied executor, RIPK1, is able to modulate key cellular events through the interaction with several proteins, acting as strategic crossroads of several molecular pathways. Little evidence is reported about its involvement in tumorigenesis. In this review, we summarize current studies on the biological relevance of necroptosis, its contradictory role in cancer and its function in cell fate control. Targeting necroptosis might be a novel therapeutic intervention strategy in anticancer therapies as a pharmacologically controllable event.

Original languageEnglish
Article number684
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021


  • Cancer
  • Necroptosis
  • RIPK1
  • RIPK1 mutations


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