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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2001 April;92(2):99-112

language: Italian

The pro-apoptotic factors Fas Ligand and Trail. Molecular mechanism, physiopathological role and therapeutic potential

Busso V., Smirne C., Ferrero I., Segir R., Abrate S., Bellone G., Emanuelli G.


Programmed cell death, also known as apoptosis, is a normal physiologic process which occurs during embryonic development as well as in maintenance of tissue homeostasis. Increasing evidence suggests that alterations in cell death contribute to the pathogenesis of a number of human diseases, including cancer, viral infections, autoimmune diseases and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The extraordinary research activity of the past few years has resulted in the characterization of the principal proteins involved in the apoptosis machinery. An area of particular interest has been the induction of apoptosis by two death receptor/ligand pairs, Fas/Fas Ligand and DR4-DR5/TRAIL. The identification of these molecules with the recruited signaling pathways could clarify their physiopathological implications, having a significant impact upon potential therapeutic interventions in diseases associated with cell survival alterations.

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