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Drug Resist Updat. 2005 Jun;8(3):163-70.

The role of caspases in cell death and differentiation.

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  • 1Equipe 4 Labellis√©e Ligue contre le Cancer, UMR 601 INSERM/Universit√© de Nantes, 9 Quai Moncousu, 44035 Nantes Cedex 01, France.


The complexity, redundancy and interdependence of the biological systems involved in tumour response to different treatments hamper progress towards developing specific and effective therapies. In addition, the many and even contradictory roles played by certain key proteins can significantly amend our view on tumourigenesis. The role of caspases in the modulation of cell death and differentiation is a prominent example of such a complexity. Here we focus on the role of caspases in apoptotic cell death, mainly in haematological malignancies, tumourigenesis, sepsis, T-cell proliferation and cell differentiation.

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