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Apoptosis is a complex pathway, which plays a central role in the physiological processes. Aberrant regulation of apoptosis or defective expression of apoptotic- related proteins might result in tumourigenesis. The present study investigated the expression pattern of Bcl-2 and Bax by immunohistochemistry and the activities of caspase-3 and -9 by ELISA reader in patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the uterine cervix. Bcl-2 expression was found in 65% of the tumour cells while Bax expression was found in 45% of the tumour cells. The activity of caspase-3 was significantly reduced (p<0.001) while the activity of caspase-9 was unaltered in patients with SCC (p>0.05) as compared to normal subjects. The results thus suggest defective expression of pro- and anti- apoptotic proteins in patients with SCC of the uterine cervix, which could play a role in the abnormal cell proliferation of the uterine cervix.
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