Cell suicide, or apoptosis, is a process essential for survival. It is an error-free method of programmed cell death whereby cells damaged by a variety of genotoxic insults are eliminated. The exact process of apoptosis is not completely understood and the control mechanisms are variable in different tissues. Much information on ultraviolet radiation induction of apoptosis has been accumulated from cell culture and animal model studies. This paper provides evidence of the role of sunlight. A variety of complex pathways are known to be involved. The p53 protein, a product of the tumour suppressor gene is involved in the process; however, parallel p53 independent pathways do exist. The knowledge learnt regarding apoptosis has been applied clinically to treat a variety of dermatological conditions. The importance of this exacting procedure is recognized by the fact that malignancy is related to mutations leading to impairment of the process of apoptosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine