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Apoptosis

Synonym(s)

  • cell death, programmed
  • gene-directed cell death

Definition(s)

A normal series of events in a cell that leads to its death.

Definition from:  National Cancer Institute dictionaryThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.

Programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

Definition from: Human Genome Project InformationThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. at the U.S. Department of Energy

Apoptosis is the process of programmed cell death. It is used during early development to eliminate unwanted cells; for example, those between the fingers of a developing hand. In adults, apoptosis is used to rid the body of cells that have been damaged beyond repair. Apoptosis also plays a role in preventing cancer. If apoptosis is for some reason prevented, it can lead to uncontrolled cell division and the subsequent development of a tumor.

Definition from: Talking Glossary of Genetic TermsThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. from the National Human Genome Research Institute

Related discussion in the Handbook

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

 
Published: July 7, 2014