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Molecular mechanisms of cell fate decisions during cellular stress

Cells are continuously exposed to various stress factors that endanger their functionality and thus, their ability to cope with stress. The ability of cells to adapt and survive by restoring homeostasis is an integral component of cellular physiology. However, if the stress is persistent and homeostasis cannot be restored, the molecular machinery is ‘switched on’ to eliminate the dysregulated and damaged cells. Stress activated molecular pathways called cellular stress responses decide cells’ fate. Despite the presence of many distinct stress factors and a variety of related stress responses such as hypoxia, unfolding proteins, DNA damage, and oxidative stress responses, eventually, the cells will have to decide whether or not to trigger apoptosis. Dysregulation, or mistakes in activating cell death as a stress response, can have dramatic consequences for the entire organism and contributes to many human pathologies including aging, cancers, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Consequently, therapeutic approaches that exploit stress response-related signaling networks have become a hot topic in medicine and the biomedical sciences. Despite continuous research to decipher the cell fate-responsible components of the cellular stress response signaling pathways, their utility in therapeutic approaches has still been limited in scope and the molecular mechanisms by which stressed cells promote adaptation or apoptosis remain underappreciated and poorly understood. Recently,  non-coding RNAs have been recognized as being required for proper development of cellular stress responses. Clearly, more research is needed to elucidate the molecular patterns of both the disease-specific and physiological signaling pathways that determine a cell’s fate.

For this Special Issue of Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters, we encourage the submission of reviews and primary research articles that aim to understand what shifts the balance between opposing cellular fates during cellular stress.

Guest Editor: Rafal Bartoszewski, University of Wrocław, Poland

This collection is no longer accepting submissions.

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have read our submission guidelines. Articles should be submitted via the submission system.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies.

Articles in this collection


  1. The musculoskeletal system supports the movement of the entire body and provides blood production while acting as an endocrine organ. With aging, the balance of bone homeostasis is disrupted, leading to bone l...

    Authors: Xu He, Wei Hu, Yuanshu Zhang, Mimi Chen, Yicheng Ding, Huilin Yang, Fan He, Qiaoli Gu and Qin Shi
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:88
  2. Ubiquitin–proteasome-system-mediated clearance of misfolded proteins is essential for cells to maintain proteostasis and reduce the proteotoxicity caused by these aberrant proteins. When proteasome activity is...

    Authors: Chenliang Zhang, YiChun Duan, Chen Huang and Liping Li
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:85
  3. During aging and after traumatic injuries, cartilage and bone cells are exposed to various pathophysiologic mediators, including reactive oxygen species (ROS), damage-associated molecular patterns, and proinfl...

    Authors: Jana Riegger, Astrid Schoppa, Leonie Ruths, Melanie Haffner-Luntzer and Anita Ignatius
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:76
  4. Cardiomyocyte death induced by autophagy inhibition is an important cause of cardiac dysfunction. In-depth exploration of its mechanism may help to improve cardiac dysfunction. In our previous study, we found ...

    Authors: Xiaoyan Zhi, Shu Shi, Yang Li, Mingxia Ma, Yaolin Long, Chen Li, Haihu Hao, Huirong Liu, Xiaohui Wang and Li Wang
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:74
  5. Mechanical pressure overload and other stimuli often contribute to heart hypertrophy, a significant factor in the induction of heart failure. The UDP-glucose ceramide glycosyltransferase (UGCG) enzyme plays a ...

    Authors: Shengyu Cui, Xutao Zhang, Yuhua Li, Shan Hu, Bing Wu, Zhao Fang, Jixian Gao, Ming Li, Haoliang Wu, Bo Tao, Hao Xia and Lin Xu
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:71
  6. Prenatal infection has been implicated in the development of neuropsychiatric disorders in children. We hypothesised that exposure to lipopolysaccharide during prenatal development could induce anxiety-like be...

    Authors: Chie-Pein Chen, Pei-Chun Chen, Yu-Ling Pan and Yi-Chao Hsu
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:67
  7. Endothelial dysfunction and deregulated microRNAs (miRNAs) participate in the development of sepsis and are associated with septic organ failure and death. Here, we explored the role of miR-15b-5p on inflammat...

    Authors: Elisa Martino, Nunzia D’Onofrio, Anna Balestrieri, Luigi Mele, Celestino Sardu, Raffaele Marfella, Giuseppe Campanile and Maria Luisa Balestrieri
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:66
  8. The preference for glucose oxidative mode has crucial impacts on various physiological activities, including determining stem cell fate. External mechanical factors can play a decisive role in regulating criti...

    Authors: Zijie Zhang, Shuyue Cui, Yajing Fu, Jixiao Wang, Jiani Liu and Fulan Wei
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:57
  9. Hepatic ischemia–reperfusion injury (IRI) in donation after cardiac death (DCD) donors is a major determinant of transplantation success. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress plays a key role in hepatic IRI, with...

    Authors: Pengpeng Yue, Xiaoyan Lv, Jian You, Yongkang Zou, Jun luo, Zhongshan Lu, Hankun Cao, Zhongzhong Liu, Xiaoli Fan and Qifa Ye
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:55
  10. Pulmonary fibrosis is a major category of end-stage changes in lung diseases, characterized by lung epithelial cell damage, proliferation of fibroblasts, and accumulation of extracellular matrix. Peroxiredoxin...

    Authors: Hu-Nan Sun, Chen-Xi Ren, Dong Hun Lee, Wei-Hao Wang, Xiao-Yu Guo, Ying-Ying Hao, Xiao-Ming Wang, Hui-Na Zhang, Wan-Qiu Xiao, Nan Li, Jie Cong, Ying-Hao Han and Taeho Kwon
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:48
  11. For cancer therapy, the identification of both selective autophagy targets and small molecules that specifically regulate autophagy is greatly needed. Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is a recently discovered BH3...

    Authors: Ting Song, Fangkui Yin, Ziqian Wang, Hong Zhang, Peng Liu, Yafei Guo, Yao Tang and Zhichao Zhang
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:46
  12. Metastasis is the leading cause of death among patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). Therefore, it is important to explore the molecular mechanisms of metastasis to develop effective therapeutic targets for C...

    Authors: Jiaxian Zhu, Ting Long, Lingfang Gao, Yan Zhong, Ping Wang, Xiaoyan Wang, Zuguo Li and Zhiyan Hu
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:31
  13. In our previous report, the rt269I type versus the rt269L type in genotype C2 infection led to poor clinical outcomes and enhanced mitochondrial stress in infected hepatocytes. Here, we sought to investigate d...

    Authors: Yu-Min Choi, Dong Hyun Kim, Junghwa Jang, Won Hyeok Choe and Bum-Joon Kim
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:26
  14. Cerebral arteriovenous malformations (cAVM) are a significant cause of intracranial hemorrhagic stroke and brain damage. The arteriovenous junctions in AVM nidus are known to have hemodynamic disturbances such...

    Authors: C. L. Karthika, Vani Venugopal, B. J. Sreelakshmi, S. Krithika, Jaya Mary Thomas, Mathew Abraham, C. C. Kartha, Arumugam Rajavelu and S. Sumi
    Citation: Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2023 28:22