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Apoptosis in megakaryocytes and platelets: life and death of a lineage

Kate McArthur, Stephane Chappaz and Benjamin T. Kile

Abstract

Despite their profoundly different cellular composition, size and function, megakaryocytes and platelets both depend on restraint of the intrinsic (or "mitochondrial") apoptosis pathway by BCL-2 family pro-survival proteins for their development and viability. Activation of the pathway contributes to the clearance of megakaryocytes following platelet shedding, and constrains platelet life span in the circulation. Important questions remain as to how apoptosis is initiated in these cells at steady state and in response to pathophysiological insults.

  • Submitted November 2, 2017.
  • Accepted December 3, 2017.