Ryoo, Hyung Don Department of Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York.
- Role in animal development and disease
- Molecular regulators of apoptosis
- Exploiting apoptosis for treatment of cancer
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
One of the major forms of cell death in animals, often referred to as programmed cell death. Apoptosis is defined by a specific change in cell morphology, followed by the engulfment of the cell corpse by phagocytes (Fig. 1). Often, the death of certain cells through apoptosis enhances the overall health of an individual. The term originates from a Greek word that means “to fall,” as happens to the foliage of tree leaves in autumn, which helps the tree's survival. Defects in apoptosis are associated with a large number of diseases in humans. The most notable of these diseases are cancers. See also: Cancer (medicine); Cell (biology); Oncology
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