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The mechanisms of graphene-based materials-induced programmed cell death: a review of apoptosis, autophagy, and programmed necrosis

Authors Ou L, Lin S, Song B, Liu J, Lai R, Shao L

Received 26 April 2017

Accepted for publication 13 July 2017

Published 7 September 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 6633—6646

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S140526

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun


Lingling Ou,1,2 Shaoqiang Lin,2 Bin Song,1 Jia Liu,1 Renfa Lai,2 Longquan Shao1

1Department of Stomatology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Stomatology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Graphene-based materials (GBMs) are widely used in many fields, including biomedicine. To date, much attention had been paid to the potential unexpected toxic effects of GBMs. Here, we review the recent literature regarding the impact of GBMs on programmed cell death (PCD). Apoptosis, autophagy, and programmed necrosis are three major PCDs. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that the mitochondrial pathways and MAPKs (JNK, ERK, and p38)- and TGF-β-related signaling pathways are implicated in GBMs-induced apoptosis. Autophagy, unlike apoptosis and necroptosis which are already clear cell death types, plays a vital pro-survival role in cell homeostasis, so its role in cell death should be carefully considered. However, GBMs always induce unrestrained autophagy accelerating cell death. GBMs trigger autophagy through inducing autophagosome accumulation and lysosome impairment. Mitochondrial dysfunction, ER stress, TLRs signaling pathways, and p38 MAPK and NF-κB pathways participate in GBMs-induced autophagy. Programmed necrosis can be activated by RIP kinases, PARP, and TLR-4 signaling in macrophages after GBMs exposure. Though apoptosis, autophagy, and necroptosis are distinguished by some characteristics, their numerous signaling pathways comprise an interconnected network and correlate with each other, such as the TLRs, p53 signaling pathways, and the Beclin-1 and Bcl-2 interaction. A better understanding of the mechanisms of PCD induced by GBMs may allow for a thorough study of the toxicology of GBMs and a more precise determination of the consequences of human exposure to GBMs. These determinations will also benefit safety assessments of the biomedical and therapeutic applications of GBMs.

Keywords: graphene based materials, cell toxicity, programmed cell death, mechanisms

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