An Introduction to the Molecular Mechanisms of Apoptosis

Sylvie Delhalle, Annelyse Duvoix, Michaël Schnekenburger, Franck Morceau, Mario Dicato, Marc Diederich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Apoptosis is a type of cell death that has been observed and studied for more than a century. The process of apoptosis was described as "programmed cell death" in 1964, and the term apoptosis, from a Greek word meaning "to fall away from" and describing the fall of dead leaves from trees in autumn, was only coined in 1972. During the last 30 years, this type of cell death has been extensively investigated and the molecular mechanisms underlying this cell suicide well characterized. Apoptosis is a physiological phenomenon necessary to tissue and body genesis and homeostasis, but defects in its regulation may cause numerous diseases, including cancer. Investigating the mechanisms of apoptosis Is thus important to discover new cellular regulators that could be potential targets for new death-inducing drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Caspases
  • Death receptors
  • Mitochondria


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