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Unwanted cells are removed by physiological cell death processes that are highly conserved throughout the animal kingdom. Physiological cell death plays an important role in development, tissue homeostasis and defence against viral infection and mutation. This review describes the molecular components that implement this process, the relevance of these to a variety of human diseases, and discusses the potential for novel therapies based on our understanding of them.


Journal article


Pharmacol Ther

Publication Date





37 - 50


Animals, Apoptosis, Caenorhabditis elegans, Caspase 1, Cysteine Endopeptidases, Gene Expression Regulation, Genes, Tumor Suppressor, Genes, Viral, Granzymes, HIV, Humans, Membrane Glycoproteins, Perforin, Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Serine Endopeptidases, Terminology as Topic