The expedition into the apoptosis signaling pathway, although it has just begun, has resulted in the discovery of a significant number of remarkable signaling molecules at all levels of this novel pathway. After the pinnacle of this frenetic cloning effort has been reached, however, it is important to put this pathway and its constituents into a biological and pathophysiological context. It has become clear that cell death does not automatically mean activation of caspases. The recent discovery of a function of effector caspases of the apoptosis pathway outside of apoptosis is currently revolutionizing our view of these seemingly unrelated and rather counteracting processes, cell death and cell proliferation. It appears that caspases play a much more fundamental role in cells than originally expected.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine