The Death Receptors

Part of the Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation book series (RESULTS, volume 23)


In recent years apoptosis, also called programmed cell death, has been recognized to be the physiological way for a nucleated animal cell to die. Apoptosis takes care of unwanted, injured or virus-infected cells (Farber 1994; Collins 1995). Autoreactive T and B cells that are produced by the immune system by the millions every day are also eliminated by apoptosis. A large number of stimuli can trigger apoptosis. However, only the discovery of the existence of receptors that could trigger apoptosis convinced everyone that a certain substance would not just kill a cell due to its high toxicity but involve special apoptosis-inducing mechanisms. A number of receptors that were first shown to have other functions besides induction of apoptosis could kill cells. These receptors include the T cell receptor/CD3 complex (Smith et al. 1989; Takahashi et al. 1989; Newell et al. 1990), the B cell receptor (Ales-Martinez et al. 1992), CD2 (Merkenschlager and Fisher 1991), CD4 (Wadsworth et al. 1990) and the mouse antigen Thy-1 (Ucker et al. 1989).


Death Receptor Death Domain African Swine Fever Virus Death Effector Domain Acidic SMase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tumor Immunology ProgramGerman Cancer Research CenterHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of Immunohematology and BloodbankUniversity Hospital LeidenLeidenThe Netherlands

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