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Med Res Rev. 2011 Jul;31(4):649-75. doi: 10.1002/med.20198. Epub 2010 Jan 22.

Molecules that modulate Apaf-1 activity.

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Peptide and Protein Laboratory, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe, Avda Autopista del Saler, Valencia, Spain.


Programmed cell death, apoptosis, is a highly regulated cellular pathway, responsible for the elimination of cells in the organism that are no longer needed or extensively damaged. Defects in the regulation of apoptosis could be at the molecular basis of different diseases, either when it is insufficient or excessive. The formation of the macromolecular complex, apoptosome, is a key event in this pathway, which has also been defined as the intrinsic apoptosis pathway. The apoptosome is a holoenzyme multiprotein complex formed by cytochrome c-activated apoptotic protease-activating factor (Apaf-1), dATP, and procaspase-9. Recent studies have produced a wealth of information about the regulation and functions of Apaf-1, but additional studies aimed at elucidating its role as a signaling device at the crosstalk between different signaling pathways are needed to take advantage for the development of modulators of apoptosis pathways and possible therapeutic applications.

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