The apoptosome: signalling platform of cell death.
Recent work on the initial switches that trigger cell death has revealed surprising inventions of nature that ensure the ordered suicide of a cell that has been selected for demise. Particularly intriguing is how a signal--the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria--is translated into the activation of the death cascade, which leads to a point of no return. Now there is new understanding of how this crucial process is delicately handled by a cytosolic signalling platform known as the apoptosome. The formation of the apoptosome and the activation of its effector, caspase-9, reveals a sophisticated mechanism that might be more common than was initially thought.
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