Molecular steps of death receptor and mitochondrial pathways of apoptosis

Life Sci. 2001 Nov 9;69(25-26):2957-64. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(01)01404-7.


In almost all multicellular organisms, cell suicide or apoptosis appears to play an important role in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Apoptosis is tightly regulated by a set of genes that either promote apoptosis or promote cell survival. Although a number of stimuli appear to trigger the process of apoptosis, there are two major signaling pathways of apoptosis; the death receptor pathway and the death receptor-independent or mitochondrial pathway. There is evidence to suggest that, under certain conditions and in some cell types; these two pathways may cross talk. During the past 5 years, rapid progress has been made in understanding the molecular basis of apoptosis. In this brief review, I will summarize the various molecular steps of apoptosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Receptor Cross-Talk
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction
  • fas Receptor / genetics*


  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • fas Receptor