Hippokratia 2007; 11(3): 108-113

V Papaliagkas, A Anogianaki, G Anogianakis, G Ilonidis

Abstract

Apoptosis or programmed cell death is a physiological mechanism, characterized by specific morphological and biochemical changes such as cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation, protein cleavage, DNA breakdown and phagocytosis.Apoptosis is a significant contributor to the morphologic and functional development of multicellular organisms. It is also involved in the pathogenesis of several diseases including degenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) like Alzheimer???s disease or Parkinson???s disease, cancer and immune system dysfunction. There are many factors,mainly proteins, which are involved in the activation, regulation and execution of related events. A fairly detailed outline of apoptotic mechanisms has also started to emerge and to be verified. In this short, focused mini-review, we attempt to outline current evidence regarding the mechanisms and the regulation of apoptosis.

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