Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is one of the leukemia types. Leukemia is cancer of the body's blood-forming cells. Cancer is a disease that is often characterized by too little apoptosis and uncontrolled duplicate of body cells. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a normal component of the development and health of multicellular organisms. Cells die in response to a variety of stimuli during apoptosis. During cancer, pathophysiology apoptosis of the cancerous cells is disrupted, so one of the strategies for cancer chemotherapy is inducing apoptosis in cancerous cells. Myeloid cell leukemia type 1 (Mcl-1) is one of the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. It has been shown that the expression of Mcl-1 in CLL is significantly associated with a failure to achieve complete remission following cytotoxic therapy, so regulation of Mcl-1 expression by coumarins could be one of the mechanisms of CLL chemotherapy. Coumarins consist of a large class of phenolic substances found in plants. Different pharmacologic effects of coumarins were reported. One of these effects is cytotoxicity and apoptosis induction in cancerous cells by coumarins. In this chapter, the cytotoxic activity of coumarins and their role in Mcl-1 regulation are discussed.
Part of the book: Cytotoxicity