Apoptosis is a genetically in-built process whereby organisms remove unwanted cells. Apoptosis can serve as a regulatory and
defense mechanism in the formation of the shape and size of the human body and also to eradicate surplus amount of cells. The
regulation of apoptosis is relevant and differentiates between a normal cells of body and cancer cells by loss of control. Apoptosis being
an intricate process regulated by much more than just a biological mechanism. The induction of the apoptosis manifests the control on the
tumour size and number of tumour cells hence establishing the application of apoptotic inducers as vital components in the treatment of
cancer. During apoptosis, cells die in a controlled and regulated fashion which makes apoptosis distinct from necrosis (uncontrolled cell
death). Protein components and regulators for apoptosis signaling pathways can involve the mitochondria (intrinsic pathway) or signal
through death receptors (extrinsic pathway). Many different drug and gene therapy approaches are being tested for initiating apoptosis.
Resistance to apoptosis is considered a hallmark of cancer. Therapeutic approaches attempted to date include traditional small molecules,
antisense oligonucleotides, monoclonal antibodies, recombinant proteins and several classes of chemical compounds discussed in this
review. These compounds may serve as precursor molecules for more effective drugs, all aimed at developing clinically effective
therapeutics, targeting key apoptosis regulatory mechanism. This review will discuss the current understanding of apoptosis induced by
various chemical agents and highlighting the role of apoptosis inducing agents as emerging opportunities for cancer therapy.
Keywords: Apoptosis, DNA damage, Caspase, Apoptosis inducers, Anticancer agents, phagocytized, phagocytes, vincristine, vinblastine, perforin-granzyme.
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Published on: 14 January, 2013
Page: [433 - 455]