Life and death in paradise.
Over 500 researchers participated in a recent American Association for Cancer Research special conference, entitled "Apoptosis and Cancer: Basic Mechanisms and Therapeutic Opportunities in the Post-Genomic Era" (February 13-17, 2002) in sunny Hawaii (Hilton Waikoloa village, Kona, Hawaii). The meeting participants presented the most recent findings on the mechanisms regulating cell death in cancer. In the past decade, apoptosis research has undergone a quantum leap, metamorphosing from a descriptive, phenomenological discipline into a molecularly defined, highly complex signalling field. This transformation was highlighted in the conference's opening talk by meeting co-organizer, John Reed (The Burnham Institute, La Jolla, CA). Reed and colleagues used published protein functional information and bio-informatic mining of the available human genome databases to tabulate the number of human proteins predicted to be involved in regulating apoptosis. The list includes 11 catalytically active caspases, 26 CARD (caspase associated recruitment domain)-, 32 DD (death domain)-, 12 DED (death effector domain)-, 8 BIR (baculovirus inhibitor of apoptosis protein region)-, 24 BH (Bcl-2 homology)-, and 34 PAAD/PYD (pyrin/PAAD)-containing sequences.
Gozani, O; Boyce, M; Yoo, L; Karuman, P; Yuan, J
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