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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2008 Dec;7(12):1001-12. doi: 10.1038/nrd2637. Epub 2008 Nov 7.

Directing cancer cells to self-destruct with pro-apoptotic receptor agonists.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Oncology, Genentech Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, California 94080-4918, USA. aa@gene.com.

Abstract

Each day, the human body eliminates billions of unwanted cells by apoptotic suicide. Apoptosis provides an important barrier against cancer; however, specific mutations enable some tumour cells to escape apoptotic death and become more malignant. Two signalling pathways initiate apoptosis: one acts through intracellular Bcl-2 proteins, the other through cell-surface pro-apoptotic receptors. New molecular insights have inspired the development of pro-apoptotic receptor agonists (PARAs), including the recombinant human protein apoptosis ligand 2/TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (Apo2L/TRAIL) and agonistic monoclonal antibodies to its signalling receptors. Acting alone, or in concert with other agents, PARAs may overcome key apoptosis blocks and direct cancer cells to self-destruct.

PMID:
18989337
DOI:
10.1038/nrd2637
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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