Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 22, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781848605985 | Print ISBN: 9781847870483 | Online ISBN: 9781848605985| Publisher:SAGE Publications LtdAbout this handbook
Chapter 28: Discoveries and Challenges in Early-stage Apoptosis Drug Development
Discoveries and challenges in early-stage apoptosis drug development Apoptosis is the major and best-studied pathway of programmed cell death, and its pathway is conserved across most multi-cellular organisms. Programmed cell death is the process whereby regulated cell destruction occurs to control cell numbers and eliminate cells that may be harmful to the organism. Apoptosis plays an important role in embryonic development and in the function of the immune system as well as in protection against the results of DNA damage, such as deleterious mutations and cancer. As such, it is an intriguing area for drugmakers as they decide how to allocate their drug development resources. Several diseases are characterized by abnormal apoptosis, including neurodegener-ative diseases and liver damage resulting from alcoholic cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis C. For this reason, drug companies have been interested in apoptotic pathways when searching for potential drug targets to treat these and other diseases, such ...