Apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death, plays a very crucial role in various physiological
processes for maintaining cell homeostasis. This process has several characteristic features like
membrane blebbing, nuclear condensation, DNA fragmentation and cell shrinkage. Any defect in this
highly regulated process eventually leads to extended cell survival and could result in neoplastic cell
expansion followed by genetic instability. The apoptotic machinery is mainly processed and regulated
by various caspases, a family of cysteine proteases. Significant advancement has been made towards
understanding the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis which provides new insights in modulating the
life or death of a cell. The main goal of this review is to highlight recent updates on apoptosis, the
cross-talk with other cellular death processes and its therapeutic potentials.
Keywords: Apoptosis, proteases, autophagy, anoikis, senescence, drug target.
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