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Cell Res. 2001 Dec;11(4):253-64.

Molecular signal transduction in vascular cell apoptosis.

Author information

  • Center for Cardiovascular Biology and Atherosclerosis Research, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Houston Health Science Center Medical School, 77030, USA. yong-jian.geng@uth.tmc.edu

Abstract

Apoptosis is a form of genetically programmed cell death, which plays a key role in regulation of cellularity in a variety of tissue and cell types including the cardiovascular tissues. Under both physiological and pathophysiological conditions, various biophysiological and biochemical factors, including mechanical forces, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, cytokines, growth factors, oxidized lipoproteins, etc., may influence apoptosis of vascular cells. The Fas/Fas ligand/caspase death-signaling pathway, Bcl-2 protein family/mitochondria, the tumor suppressive gene p53, and the proto-oncogene c-myc may be activated in atherosclerotic lesions, and mediates vascular apoptosis during the development of atherosclerosis. Abnormal expression and dysfunction of these apoptosis-regulating genes may attenuate or accelerate vascular cell apoptosis and affect the integrity and stability of atherosclerotic plaques. Clarification of the molecular mechanism that regulates apoptosis may help design a new strategy for treatment of atherosclerosis and its major complication, the acute vascular syndromes.

PMID:
11787770
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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