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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 Mak,  Yeh,  

Signaling for survival and apoptosis in the immune system.

Signal transduction induced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family members and their receptors has been an intensive area of research for several years. The major impact of these studies has been the delineation of apoptotic and cell survival signaling pathways. These discoveries, coupled with major advances in the study of mammalian apoptotic machinery, constitute a promising blueprint of the molecular network governing the fate of all living cells. In this review, we concentrate on the fate of cells in the immune system, where regulation of cell death and cell survival is a frequent and important exercise. A small imbalance in favor of either fate can result in disastrous pathological outcomes, such as cancer, autoimmunity or immune deficiency. It is an insurmountable task to discuss all molecules reported in the literature that are implicated in lymphocyte death or survival. We have therefore focused on discoveries made by mouse gene targeting, as these studies provide the most physiologically relevant information on each molecule. We begin with a description of signaling channels initiated by TNF receptor type 1 engagement, which can lead to either cell survival or to cell death. The point of bifurcation of this pathway and the decision-making molecules FADD, TRAF2 and RIP are discussed. We then follow apoptotic and survival pathways from upstream to downstream, describing many important players involved in signal transduction. Molecules important for NF-kappaB and JNK/stress- activated protein kinase activation such as IKKbeta, NEMO, MAP3K and TRAF6 are discussed, as is the impact of BAFF and its receptors on B-cell survival. Mouse mutants that have helped to define the mammalian apoptosis execution machinery, including animals lacking Apaf-1, caspase-3 and caspase-9, are also described. We conclude with a brief analysis of the potential therapeutic options arising from this body of work.[1]


  1. Signaling for survival and apoptosis in the immune system. Mak, T.W., Yeh, W.C. Arthritis Res. (2002) [Pubmed]
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