Apoptotic cells form membrane blebs, but little is known about how the formation and dynamics of membrane blebs are regulated. The size of blebs gradually increases during the progression of apoptosis, eventually forming large extracellular vesicles called apoptotic bodies that have immune-modulating activities. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanism involved in the differentiation of blebs into apoptotic blebs by comparing the dynamics of the bleb formed during cell migration and the bleb formed during apoptosis. We revealed that the enhanced activity of ROCK1 is required for the formation of small blebs in the early phase of apoptosis, which leads to the physical disruption of nuclear membrane and the degradation of Lamin A. In the late phase of apoptosis, the loss of asymmetry in phospholipids distribution caused the enlargement of blebs, which enabled translocation of damage-associated molecular patterns to the bleb cytoplasm and maturation of functional apoptotic blebs. Thus, changes in cell membrane dynamics are closely linked to cytoplasmic changes during apoptotic bleb formation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology