About Cellular Stress
Cells have evolved highly sensitive mechanisms to recognize the warning signs of excess cellular stress that occur during viral infections and the development of cancer. For example, during a viral infection, intrinsic pathways within the host cell sense the presence of viral RNA or DNA, triggering the cell to arrest its replication machinery and prevent the virus from replicating. As part of this intrinsic response, immune system pathways are activated to recognize infected cells and mount a robust attack to eliminate those cells. By efficiently detecting these warning signs, the infected cell and the immune system are able to cooperatively respond to cellular stress that arises not only from viral infections, but also from many other sources of cellular stress that are common in cancer, inflammation and other diseases.