Numerous morphological variations of cell death have been described. These processes depend on a complex and overlapping cellular signaling network, making molecular definition of the pathways challenging. This review describes one solution to this problem for small-molecule-induced death, the creation of high-dimensionality profiles for compounds that can be used to define and compare pathways. Such profiles have been assembled from gene expression measurements, protein quantification, chemical-genetic interactions, chemical combination interactions, cancer cell line sensitivity profiling, quantitative imaging, and modulatory profiling. We discuss the advantages and limitations of these techniques in the study of cell death.
Keywords: Apoptosis; Cell death; Chemical biology; Gene expression; Nonapoptotic cell death; Profiling; Small molecules.
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