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How do cancer cells evade apoptosis?

Cancer cells evade apoptosis by altering their genetic makeup and inhibiting apoptotic pathways.

Apoptosis is a programmed cell death mechanism that eliminates damaged or abnormal cells. Cancer cells have the ability to evade apoptosis, which allows them to survive and proliferate. One way cancer cells do this is by altering their genetic makeup. Mutations in genes that regulate apoptosis, such as TP53 and BCL2, can prevent cells from undergoing apoptosis. TP53 is a tumour suppressor gene that is often mutated in cancer cells. When TP53 is mutated, it cannot activate the apoptotic pathway, which allows cancer cells to survive. BCL2 is an anti-apoptotic gene that is overexpressed in many cancer cells. Overexpression of BCL2 prevents the activation of the apoptotic pathway, allowing cancer cells to evade apoptosis.

Cancer cells can also inhibit apoptotic pathways by producing proteins that block the activation of apoptotic proteins. For example, cancer cells can produce proteins that inhibit caspases, which are enzymes that initiate apoptosis. By inhibiting caspases, cancer cells can prevent the activation of the apoptotic pathway.

In addition to genetic alterations and protein production, cancer cells can also evade apoptosis by altering their microenvironment. Cancer cells can secrete factors that promote cell survival and inhibit apoptosis. For example, cancer cells can secrete growth factors that promote cell survival and inhibit apoptosis. Cancer cells can also alter the extracellular matrix, which can prevent the activation of apoptotic pathways.

In conclusion, cancer cells evade apoptosis by altering their genetic makeup, inhibiting apoptotic pathways, and altering their microenvironment. Understanding how cancer cells evade apoptosis is important for developing new cancer treatments that can target these mechanisms.

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