Melanoma cells (Me 260.LN) blebbing

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May 18, 2017

Blebbing, while fun to say, is also a defining feature of apoptosis (programmed cell death). A bleb is more or less what it sounds like, a blob-like protrusion of the plasma membrane. They generally exist for only a short time, on the scale of tens of seconds to a couple minutes. The phenomenon is caused during apoptosis as the cell’s cortex, which plays a crucial role in maintaining cell shape, ruptures, or detaches from the plasma membrane, allowing it to bulge outwards. From there, the bulges can either separate from the cell, becoming apoptotic bodies, or be reabsorbed by recontracting the bleb back into the cell.

Cell ScienceImaging/MicroscopyStem Cells

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