Molecular mechanisms of the decision between life and death: Regulation of apoptosis by apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1

Atsushi Matsuzawa, Hidenori Ichijo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

151 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Coordination and balance between cell survival and apoptosis is crucial for normal development and homeostasis of multicellular organisms. Defects in control of this balance may contribute to a variety of diseases including cancer, autoimmune and neuro-degenerative conditions. Although a large number of pro- and anti-apoptotic factors acting for or against the final death event have been and are being discovered at an extraordinary pace with the recent progress in this area, the molecular mechanisms determining whether a cell lives or dies are not fully understood. Phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of intracellular effector molecules are the most common and important regulatory mechanisms in signal transduction and control a variety of cellular events from cell growth to apoptosis. Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) is a member of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase kinase kinase family, which activates both the SEK1-JNK and MKK3/6-p38 MAP kinase pathways and constitutes a pivotal signaling pathway in cytokine- and stress-induced apoptosis. This review provides recent findings on the molecular mechanisms which determine cell fate such as survival, proliferation, differentiation or apoptosis, with special focus on the regulatory mechanisms of ASK1-mediated apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of biochemistry
Volume130
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ASK1
  • Apoptosis
  • Death receptor
  • MAP kinase
  • Mitochondria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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