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Regulation of cardiac myocyte cell death.

Clerk, A., Cole, S. M., Cullingford, T. E., Harrison, J. G., Jormakka, M. and Valks, D. M. (2003) Regulation of cardiac myocyte cell death. Pharmacology & therapeutics, 97 (3). pp. 223-61. ISSN 0163-7258

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Cardiac myocyte death, whether through necrotic or apoptotic mechanisms, is a contributing factor to many cardiac pathologies. Although necrosis and apoptosis are the widely accepted forms of cell death, they may utilize the same cell death machinery. The environment within the cell probably dictates the final outcome, producing a spectrum of response between the two extremes. This review examines the probable mechanisms involved in myocyte death. Caspases, the generally accepted executioners of apoptosis, are significant in executing cardiac myocyte death, but other proteases (e.g., calpains, cathepsins) also promote cell death, and these are discussed. The two principal cell death pathways (death receptor- and mitochondrial-mediated) are described in relation to the emerging structural information for the principal proteins, and they are discussed relative to current understanding of myocyte cell death mechanisms. Whereas the mitochondrial pathway is probably a significant factor in myocyte death in both acute and chronic phases of myocardial diseases, the death receptor pathway may prove significant in the longer term. The Bcl-2 family of proteins are key regulators of the mitochondrial death pathway. These proteins are described and their possible functions are discussed. The commitment to cell death is also influenced by protein kinase cascades that are activated in the cell. Whereas certain pathways are cytoprotective (e.g., phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase), the roles of other kinases are less clear. Since myocyte death is implicated in a number of cardiac pathologies, attenuation of the death pathways may prove important in ameliorating such disease states, and possible therapeutic strategies are explored.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
ID Code:51031

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