Apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death, is a natural process for the removal of diseased, damaged, or unwanted cells such as those with potentially harmful mutations, aberrant substratum, or alterations in cell-cycle control. It plays a central role in proper embryonic development, immune system function, and hormone-dependent atrophy. The activation or inhibition of apoptosis has therapeutic value in cancer or HIV and neurodegenerative diseases.
Apoptosis can be triggered by two known pathways: the intrinsic pathway (also called the mitochondrial pathway) and the extrinsic pathway. The intrinsic pathway, as its name implies, is activated by intracellular stimuli such as irreparable genetic damage, hypoxia, extremely high concentrations of cytosolic Ca2+, and severe oxidative stress. This pathway is closely regulated by a group of proteins belonging to the Bcl-2 family and is the result of increased mitochondrial permeability and the release of pro-apoptotic molecules such as cytochrome c into the cytoplasm. The other pathway, the extrinsic pathway is initiated when extracellular ligands binding to cell-surface death receptors. The best-known death receptors are the type 1 TNF receptor (TNFR1) and a related protein called Fas (CD95) and their ligands are called TNF and Fas ligand (FasL) respectively.
An understanding of the mechanism of apoptosis is important as it plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of many diseases. In some cases, the problem is due to too much apoptosis, such as in the case of degenerative diseases while in others, too little apoptosis is the culprit. Despite being the cause of the problem, apoptosis plays an important role in the treatment of cancer as it is a popular target of many treatment strategies. With years of development, Creative Biogene has the expertise and ability in offering a broad and comprehensive service in apoptosis biochemical screening and profiling.