PerspectiveCell Biology

Opening the Cellular Poison Cabinet

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Science  03 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6009, pp. 1330-1331
DOI: 10.1126/science.1199461

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In complex multicellular organisms, millions of cells die each day as a result of stress, injury, or infection, and as part of the natural cell turnover process that is essential to optimal tissue functioning. Remarkably, cell death in most of these situations is orchestrated by the dying cell itself, a form of cellular suicide called apoptosis (1). On page 1390 in this issue, Ren et al. (2) help to resolve how cells execute this process.