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Trends Biochem Sci. 2001 Jun;26(6):390-7.

The mitochondrial apoptosome: a killer unleashed by the cytochrome seas.

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  • 1Molecular Cell Biology Laboratory, Dept of Genetics, The Smurfit Institute, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.


The caspase family of cysteine proteases have emerged as central regulators of apoptosis. Diverse cellular stresses trigger caspase activation by promoting release of mitochondrial components, including cytochrome c, into the cytoplasm. In turn, cytochrome c promotes the assembly of a caspase-activating complex termed the apoptosome. In this article, the apoptosome and its role in life and death decisions of cells are discussed.

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