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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Aug;2(8):589-98.

Four deaths and a funeral: from caspases to alternative mechanisms.

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  • 1H. Lundbeck A/S, Ottiliavej 9, DK-2500 Copenhagen-Valby, Denmark.


A single family of proteases, the caspases, has long been considered the pivotal executioner of all programmed cell death. However, recent findings of evolutionarily conserved, caspase-independent controlled death mechanisms have opened new perspectives on the biology of cell demise, with particular implications for neurobiology, cancer research and immunological processes.

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