Apoptosis: focus on sea urchin development

Maria Carmela Roccheri, Maria Agnello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


It has been proposed that the apoptosis is anessential requirement for the evolution of all animals, infact the apoptotic program is highly conserved from nematodesto mammals. Throughout development, apoptosis isemployed by multicellular organisms to eliminate damagedor unnecessary cells. Here, we will discuss both developmentalprogrammed cell death (PCD) under normal conditionsand stress induced apoptosis, in sea urchin embryos.Sea urchin represent an excellent model system forstudying embryogenesis and cellular processes involved inmetamorphosis. PCD plays an essential role in sculptingand remodelling the embryos and larvae undergoingmetamorphosis. Moreover, this marine organism directlyinteracts with its environment, and is susceptible to effectsof several aquatic contaminants. Apoptosis can be adoptedas a defence mechanism against any environmentalchemical, physical and mechanical stress, for removingirreversibly damaged cells. This review, while not comprehensivein its reporting, aims to provide an overview ofcurrent knowledge on mechanisms to regulate physiologicaland the induced apoptotic program in sea urchinembryos.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Cancer Research

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