Pharmacological manipulation of cell death: clinical applications in sight?

J Clin Invest. 2005 Oct;115(10):2610-7. doi: 10.1172/JCI26321.


This series of Reviews on cell death explores the creation of new therapies for correcting excessive or deficient cell death in human disease. Signal transduction pathways controlling cell death and the molecular core machinery responsible for cellular self-destruction have been elucidated with unprecedented celerity during the last decade, leading to the design of novel strategies for blocking pathological cell loss or for killing unwanted cells. Thus, an increasing number of compounds targeting a diverse range of apoptosis-related molecules are being explored at the preclinical and clinical levels. Beyond the agents that are already FDA approved, a range of molecules targeting apoptosis-regulatory transcription factors, regulators of mitochondrial membrane permeabilization, and inhibitors or activators of cell death-related proteases are under close scrutiny for drug development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis* / drug effects
  • Caspase Inhibitors*
  • Cell Membrane Permeability / drug effects
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Therapy / methods
  • Drug Therapy / trends
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / pathology
  • Signal Transduction* / drug effects
  • Transcription Factors / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Caspase Inhibitors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Transcription Factors