Apoptosis Essay

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Our cells undergo many situations where possible endangerments could occur, including chemicals, viruses, and ionizing radiation. If cells are damaged in sensitive places by these particular influences, the effects can be detrimental. For instance, if key regulatory elements are impaired, the regulatory controls in regards to cell growth or proliferation may be disrupted and the cell has the potential to rapidly multiply and becoming tumorigenic. Both apoptosis and autophagy are highly conserved processes that in addition to their role in maintenance of organismal and cellular homeostasis are considered relevant therapeutic targets not only for tumor treatment but a lot of other know diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Apoptosis is a tightly regulated set of cellular events which are associated with biochemical and morphological changes. The word "apoptosis" in Greek has the meaning of "dropping off" or "falling off" of petals from flowers, or the leaves from trees. When suicidal machinery is activated within the cell it leads to fragmentation of DNA, shrinkage of the cytoplasm, membrane changes, and finally to cell death without any damage to neighboring cells. The two main apoptotic pathways are (1) the death receptor pathway involving the initiator caspase 8 and (2) the mitochondrial pathway involving the initiator caspase 9. However sometimes apoptosis can be a beneficial mechanism, for an example during gestation. Syndactyly (webbed feet) occurs when apoptosis or programmed cell death during gestation is absent or incomplete. Thus, apoptosis is a normal phenomenon occurring frequently in a multicellular organism, thereby playing an essential role in organism survival. There are two major pathways that contribute to apopto... ... middle of paper ... ...hat viruses have accomplished this goal by binding to Beclin 1 via Bcl-2-like proteins. The herpesvirus-encoded Beclin 1 antagonists, including the viral Bcl-2 molecules and HSV-1, inhibit autophagosome formation, whereas HIV-1 Nef and influenza M2 inhibit autophagosome maturation. It has been established the connection between Bcl-2 with p53 along with its interaction with Beclin 1. This suggests that Bcl-2 could be a possible connection/target between the crosstalk of autophagy and apoptosis. Beclin 1 functions in the lysosomal degradation pathway of autophagy and induces autophagic cell death in cancer cells. Where as Bcl-2/Bcl-xL can bind Beclin 1 and inhibit Beclin 1-dependent autophagic cell death in cancer cells along with suppress p53-dependent and independent cell death. Further studies to elucidate this mechanistic crosstalk are pronounced necessary.

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