Caspase 2 in mitotic catastrophe: The terminator of aneuploid and tetraploid cells.

Abstract

Mitotic catastrophe is an oncosuppressive mechanism that targets cells experiencing defective mitoses via the activation of specific cell cycle checkpoints, regulated cell death pathways and/or cell senescence. This prevents the accumulation of karyotypic aberrations, which otherwise may drive oncogenesis and tumor progression. Here, we summarize experimental evidence confirming the role of caspase 2 (CASP2) as the main executor of mitotic catastrophe, and we discuss the signals that activate CASP2 in the presence of mitotic aberrations. In addition, we summarize the main p53-dependent and -independent effector pathways through which CASP2 limits chromosomal instability and non-diploidy, hence mediating robust oncosuppressive functions.

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