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      Role of Apoptosis in disease

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      Aging

      Impact Journals, LLC

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          Abstract

          Since the initial description of apoptosis, a number of different forms of cell death have been described. In this review we will focus on classic caspase-dependent apoptosis and its variations that contribute to diseases. Over fifty years of research have clarified molecular mechanisms involved in apoptotic signaling as well and shown that alterations of these pathways lead to human diseases. Indeed both reduced and increased apoptosis can result in pathology. More recently these findings have led to the development of therapeutic approaches based on regulation of apoptosis, some of which are in clinical trials or have entered medical practice.

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          Most cited references 209

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          The biochemistry of apoptosis.

          Apoptosis--the regulated destruction of a cell--is a complicated process. The decision to die cannot be taken lightly, and the activity of many genes influence a cell's likelihood of activating its self-destruction programme. Once the decision is taken, proper execution of the apoptotic programme requires the coordinated activation and execution of multiple subprogrammes. Here I review the basic components of the death machinery, describe how they interact to regulate apoptosis in a coordinated manner, and discuss the main pathways that are used to activate cell death.
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            Mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene are associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

            Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative disorder of motor neurons in the cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. Its cause is unknown and it is uniformly fatal, typically within five years. About 10% of cases are inherited as an autosomal dominant trait, with high penetrance after the sixth decade. In most instances, sporadic and autosomal dominant familial ALS (FALS) are clinically similar. We have previously shown that in some but not all FALS pedigrees the disease is linked to a genetic defect on chromosome 21q (refs 8, 9). Here we report tight genetic linkage between FALS and a gene that encodes a cytosolic, Cu/Zn-binding superoxide dismutase (SOD1), a homodimeric metalloenzyme that catalyzes the dismutation of the toxic superoxide anion O2.- to O2 and H2O2 (ref. 10). Given this linkage and the potential role of free radical toxicity in other neurodenegerative disorders, we investigated SOD1 as a candidate gene in FALS. We identified 11 different SOD1 missense mutations in 13 different FALS families.
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              Mutations in the parkin gene cause autosomal recessive juvenile parkinsonism.

              Parkinson's disease is a common neurodegenerative disease with complex clinical features. Autosomal recessive juvenile parkinsonism (AR-JP) maps to the long arm of chromosome 6 (6q25.2-q27) and is linked strongly to the markers D6S305 and D6S253; the former is deleted in one Japanese AR-JP patient. By positional cloning within this microdeletion, we have now isolated a complementary DNA done of 2,960 base pairs with a 1,395-base-pair open reading frame, encoding a protein of 465 amino acids with moderate similarity to ubiquitin at the amino terminus and a RING-finger motif at the carboxy terminus. The gene spans more than 500 kilobases and has 12 exons, five of which (exons 3-7) are deleted in the patient. Four other AR-JP patients from three unrelated families have a deletion affecting exon 4 alone. A 4.5-kilobase transcript that is expressed in many human tissues but is abundant in the brain, including the substantia nigra, is shorter in brain tissue from one of the groups of exon-4-deleted patients. Mutations in the newly identified gene appear to be responsible for the pathogenesis of AR-JP, and we have therefore named the protein product 'Parkin'.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Aging
                aging
                Impact Journals, LLC
                1945-4589
                May 31 2012
                May 31 2012
                : 4
                : 5
                : 330-349
                Article
                3384434
                22683550
                © 2012
                Product
                Self URI (article page): http://www.aging-us.com/article/100459

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