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Cell death is required for many normal physiological functions for both development and homeostasis. The ability of tumor cells to elude programmed cell death, also known as apoptosis, is a hallmark of most types of cancer. A wide variety of cellular proteins, including cell surface receptors, adaptors, proteases and mitochondrial components, regulate a fine balance between cell survival and death by apoptosis. Mutations of these sensor and/or effector proteins may tip the balance, resulting in the uncontrolled survival and proliferation of cancer cells. Uncovering apoptosis mechanisms will result in new strategies to exploit apoptosis for therapeutic benefit.
Merck provides a wide range of assay products for early, mid and late stage apoptotic detection, as well as a comprehensive portfolio of antibodies against novel and established Apoptosis Biomarkers.
Whether cells are in the early stages of apoptosis (with exposed inner leaflets), intermediate stages (with active caspase activity), or late stages (with extensive DNA fragmentation), Merck’s reagents and cell-based assays detect specific cell death processes across the apoptotic timeline.