MPŠ MP&Scaron MP&Scaron MP&Scaron Avtorji

Jožef Stefan
Postgraduate School

Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 477 31 00
Fax: +386 1 477 31 10


Course Description

Programmed Cell Death


Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies, third-level study programme


prof. ddr. Boris Turk


To inform student with the basics of cell death, including types of cell death, mechanisms of action and regulation, and with the role of cell death in normal and pathological conditions.To prepare student for future design of projects from this area of biomedicine.


Introduction to the field: cell death types; apoptosis, necrosis, autophagy
Apoptosis: basic characteristics of apoptosis, molecular mechanism of regulation, biological relevance
Autophagy: molecular mechanisms, regulation, biological relevance
Necrosis: molecular mechanisms, biological relevance
Links between apoptosis, autophagy, and necrosis: molecular mechanisms, organelle crosstalk
Role of proteases in cell death regulation: importance of proteases for cell death or cell survival
Programmed cell death in disease: neurodegeneration, cancer, HIV, ischemia, viral infections, parasitic diseases, infectious diseases
Analytical methods for monitoring cell death: enzymatic methods, microscopy, immunological methods, flow cytommetry, …

Course literature:

R.A. Lockshin, Z. Zakeri, J.L. Tilly (Eds) (1998). When Cells Die. Wiley-Liss, Inc. ZDA. ISBN 0-471-16569-7

G.P. Studzinski (Ed.) (1999) Apoptosis. A Practical Approach. Oxford University Press, ZDA. ISBN 0-19-963785-7

Methods in Enzymology (2008) vol 442: Programmed Cell Death,General Principles forStudying Cell Death, Part A. Edited by: Roya Khosravi-Far, Zahra Zakeri, Richard A. Lockshin and Mauro Piacentini ISBN: 9780123743121

Methods in Enzymology (2008) vol 446: Programmed Cell Death, The Biology and Therapeutic Implications of Cell Death, Part B. Edited by: Roya Khosravi-Far, Zahra Zakeri, Richard A. Lockshin and Mauro Piacentini ISBN: 9780123744647

Relevant current articles from the field (Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Reviews, …).

Significant publications and references:

Rozman-Pungercar, J., Kopitar Jerala, N., Bogyo, M., Turk,D., Vasiljeva, O., Stefe, I., Vandenabeele, P., Brömme, D., Puizdar, V., Fonovic, M., Trstenjak-Prebanda, M., Dolenc, I., Turk, V., Turk, B. (2003) Inhibition of papain-like cysteine proteases and legumain by " caspase-specific" inhibitors: when reaction mechanism is more important than specificity. Cell Death Diff. 10, 881-888.

Cirman, T., Oresic, K., Droga-Mazovec, G., Turk, V., Reed, J.C., Myers, R.M., Salvesen, G.S., Turk, B. (2004) Selective disruption of lysosomes in HeLa cells triggers apoptosis, mediated by cleavage of Bid by multiple papain-like lysosomal cathepsins. J. Biol. Chem. 279, 3578-3587.

Turk, B. (2006) Targeting proteases: successes, failures and future perspectives. Nat. Rev. Drug Disc. 5, 785-799.

Gregorc, U., Ivanova, S., Thomas, M., Guccione, E., Glaunsinger, B., Javier, R., Turk, V., Banks, L., Turk, B.(2007) Cleavage of MAGI-1, a tight junction PDZ protein, by caspases is an important step for cell-cell detachment in apoptosis. Apoptosis 12, 343-354.

Turk, B., Stoka V. (2007) Protease signalling in cell death : caspases versus cysteine cathepsins. FEBS lett.. 581, 2761-2767.

Alvarez, V.E., Kosec, G., Sant'Anna, C., Turk, V., Cazzulo, J.J., Turk, B. (2008) Autophagy is involved in nutritional stress response and differentiation in Trypanosoma cruzi. J. Biol. Chem. 283, 3454-3464.

Droga-Mazovec, G., Bojič, L., Petelin, A., Ivanova, S., Romih, R., Repnik, U., Salvesen, G.S., Stoka, V., Turk, V., Turk, B. (2008) Cysteine cathepsins trigger caspase-dependent cell death through cleavage of Bid and antiapoptotic Bcl-2 homologues. J. Biol. Chem. 283, 19140-19150.


• seminar and oral exam

Students obligations:

• seminar and oral exam