alexa BH3-only proteins in tumorigenesis and malignant melanoma.
Molecular Biology

Molecular Biology

Journal of Cytology & Histology

Author(s): Karst AM, Li G

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Abstract BH3-only proteins are a subset of the Bcl-2 family of apoptotic regulators. BH3-only proteins function as 'damage sensors' in the cell; they are activated in response to cellular stress or DNA damage, whereupon they initiate apoptosis. Apoptosis is the primary mechanism by which the body rids itself of genetically defective cells and is critical for preventing the accumulation of cells with tumorigenic potential. Therefore, dysregulation of BH3-only proteins may promote tumorigenesis. Furthermore, functional apoptosis pathways are required for the success of most cancer treatments, including chemotherapy. Resistance to chemotherapy, as seen with malignant melanoma, often reflects an inability of tumor cells to undergo apoptosis. By deciphering the roles of BH3-only proteins in tumorigenesis, we may learn how to manipulate cell death pathways to overcome apoptotic resistance. This review summarizes the current knowledge of BH3-only proteins and how they contribute to tumorigenesis, with particular attention given to studies involving melanoma. This article was published in Cell Mol Life Sci and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology

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