Human Caspases: Activation, Specificity, and Regulation

Program in Apoptosis and Cell Death Research, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.6). 06/2009; 284(33):21777-81. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.R800084200
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Caspases are intracellular proteases that propagate programmed cell death, proliferation, and inflammation. Activation of
caspases occurs by a conserved mechanism subject to strict cellular regulation. Once activated by a specific stimulus, caspases
execute limited proteolysis of downstream substrates to trigger a cascade of events that culminates in the desired biological
response. Much has been learned of the mechanisms that govern the activation and regulation of caspases, and this minireview
provides an update of these areas. We also delineate substantial gaps in knowledge of caspase function, which can be approached
by techniques and experimental paradigms that are currently undergoing development.

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