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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 Mar 1;1644(2-3):125-32.

The interplay between the Bcl-2 family and death receptor-mediated apoptosis.

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  • 1Department of Apoptosis Regulation, DKFZ Heidelberg, D040, Tumour Immunology Program, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Two principal pathways for apoptosis initiation exist. One pathway, which is also termed the 'extrinsic' pathway, is mediated by death receptors, a subgroup of the TNF receptor superfamily. The second pathway, which is also referred to as the 'intrinsic' pathway is controlled by members of the Bcl-2 family. A long standing discussion revolves around the question of how these two pathways influence each other in regulating the decision about life or death of a cell. Here, we review our current knowledge about the interactions between these two pathways and discuss current models which could help to resolve previous apparently contradictory results.

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