The Indiana University Center for Pharmacogenetics and Therapeutics Research in Maternal and Child Healt
Pharmaceutical Science April 4th, 2010
A friend of mine is studying something related to apoptosis and cancer. He told me a little bit about “cell death”…, but I do not really understand much. Therefore I am googling about “Apoptosis” and try to understand a little bit about it.
Happy new year and good luck to researchers and my friends who are working seriously on these projects can achieve more good results on this field.
Video: Apoptosis - www.researchapoptosis.com
Apoptosis (pronounced /ˌæp.ə.ˈtoʊ.sɪs/ ăpˈə-tō’sĭs ˌæpəpˈtoʊsɨs, ăpˈəp-tō’sĭs) is the process of programmed cell death (PCD) that may occur in multicellular organisms. Programmed cell death involves a series of biochemical events leading to a characteristic cell morphology and death; in more specific terms, a series of biochemical events that lead to a variety of morphological changes, including blebbing, changes to the cell membrane such as loss of membrane asymmetry and attachment, cell shrinkage, nuclear fragmentation, chromatin condensation, and chromosomal DNA fragmentation (1-4). (See also Apoptosis DNA fragmentation.) Processes of disposal of cellular debris whose results do not damage the organism differentiate apoptosis from necrosis.
In contrast to necrosis, which is a form of traumatic cell death that results from acute cellular injury, apoptosis, in general, confers advantages during an organism’s life cycle. For example, the differentiation of fingers and toes in a developing human embryo occurs because cells between the fingers apoptose; the result is that the digits are separate. Between 50 and 70 billion cells die each day due to apoptosis in the average human adult. For an average child between the ages of 8 and 14, approximately 20 billion to 30 billion cells die a day. In a year, this amounts to the proliferation and subsequent destruction of a mass of cells equal to an individual’s body weight.
Research on apoptosis has increased substantially since the early 1990s. In addition to its importance as a biological phenomenon, defective apoptotic processes have been implicated in an extensive variety of diseases. Excessive apoptosis causes hypotrophy, such as in ischemic damage, whereas an insufficient amount results in uncontrolled cell proliferation, such as cancer.