By: Douglas R Green
220 pages, colour illus
This book provides a clear and comprehensive view of apoptosis and other cell death mechanisms. Taking a bottom-up approach, the author starts with the enzymes that perform the execution process (a family of proteases termed caspases) and examines their cellular targets and the ways in which they are activated. He then looks at the molecular machinery that links signals that cause cell death to caspases, emphasizing the importance of the BCL-2 family of proteins and the role of cytochrome c released from mitochondria. The final stage of the process, phagocytic removal of dead or dying cells, is also covered.
The book outlines the roles of apoptosis and death mechanisms such as necrosis in embryogenesis, neuronal selection, and the development of self-tolerance in the immune system. In addition, it explains how cell death defends the body against cancer and traces the evolutionary origins of the apoptosis machinery back over a billion years.
This book gracefully covers a wide variety of subjects and, in my opinion, distills our knowledge of cell death into an accessible text that is both enjoyable to read and appropriate for a broad audience.
Green covers more territory than many specialized books and does this by elimination of detail. Because of this approach, the book is a must read for students, clinicians, and experts in other fields wanting to learn more about cell death. Although the content may be very familiar to experts in the field, my suspicion is that they too will enjoy and benefit from reading this entertaining book. -Cell
Foreword, by Martin Raff
1. A Matter of Life and Death
2. Caspases and Their Substrates
3. Caspase Activation and Inhibition
4. The Mitochondrial Pathway of Apoptosis, Part I: MOMP and Beyond
5. The Mitochondrial Pathway of Apoptosis, Part II: The BCL-2 Protein Family
6. The Death Receptor Pathway of Apoptosis
7. Other Caspase Activation Platforms
8. Nonapoptotic Cell Death Pathways
9. The Burial: Clearance and Consequences
10. Cell Death in Development
11. Cell Death and Cancer
12. The Future of Death
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