Monday, December 24, 2001
Apoptosis involves a series of intracellular signaling steps that culminate in DNA fragmentation and cell death. While the cysteine protease caspases have become popular targets to treat cancer due to their involvement in apoptosis pathways, Gemini X is targeting both caspase-dependent and caspase-independent pathways, using its high throughput screening and structural expertise to develop compounds that inhibit protein-protein interactions between components of apoptosis pathways to treat cancers and chronic viral infections.
Bcl-2 is a protein that is located on the cytoplasmic side of the mitochondrial, endoplasmic reticulum, and nuclear membranes. The Bcl-2 protein family, which includes at least 15 members, detects cellular damage. Expression of subfamilies of Bcl-2 proteins have different effects, with certain subfamily members signaling the cell to survive, while the related Bax subfamily members are pro-apoptotic.