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      Mitochondrial cell death effectors

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      Current Opinion in Cell Biology
      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          Programmed cell death (apoptosis) is crucial for embryogenesis and tissue homeostasis. Deregulated apoptosis leads to immunodeficiency, autoimmune disorders or cancer. The two main routes to apoptosis are the extrinsic and intrinsic (mitochondrial) pathways. Both involve caspase activation that leads to the cleavage of multiple intracellular substrates [1,9]. This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of the intrinsic pathway. We describe how BCL-2-family members preserve or disrupt mitochondrial integrity, the contribution of BH3-only proteins to this process, and the importance of cytotoxic factors released by the mitochondria. The growing evidence that the intrinsic pathway is crucial for tumourigenesis makes this an intriguing field. In particular, the finding that BCL-2 homologues are inhibited by BH3-only proteins may have future therapeutic applications.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Current Opinion in Cell Biology
          Current Opinion in Cell Biology
          Elsevier BV
          09550674
          December 2009
          December 2009
          : 21
          : 6
          : 871-877
          Article
          10.1016/j.ceb.2009.09.004
          19822411
          407b17c5-649b-4d37-a95e-54efc6a9a796
          © 2009

          https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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