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Cysteine aspartic proteases (caspases) play critical roles in regulating apoptosis and inflammation. Caspases involved in apoptosis are classified into distinct subsets based on function, effector caspases (caspases-3, -6 and -7) and initiator caspases (caspases-2, -8, -9 and -10). Caspases-1, -4, -5, -11 and -12 are involved in inflammation.
All caspases are synthesized in inactive forms, referred to as pro-caspases, that require dimerization/oligomerization and subsequent cleavage for activation. Extrinsic or intrinsic death signals mediate caspase activation and apoptosis via two distinct pathways. The extrinsic pathway is triggered by ligand binding to cell surface death receptors, and the intrinsic pathway is activated by factors such as DNA damage, growth factor withdrawal or loss of extracellular matrix contact and is mediated through the mitochondria.
Bio-Rad offers a range of antibodies and FLICA Caspase Kits for measuring caspase activity.
Table 1. Molecular weight of apoptotic caspases and examples of their inhibitors.
|Caspase Name (In order of activation in the instrinsic apoptosis pathway)||Activated By||MW of Human Pro-caspase (kD)*1||MW of Human Activated Caspase (kD)*2||Examples of Caspase Inhibitors|
|Caspase-3||Caspase-9||32||17 and 11||DEVD-FMK|
|Caspase-2||Caspase-3||51||12 and 14||VDVAD-FMK|
|Caspase-6||Caspase-3||34||15 and 18||VEID-FMK|
|Caspase-8||Caspase-6/death receptor domain||56||43 and 14||LETD-FMK|
|Caspase-10||Caspase-6||59||12 and 43||AEVD-FMK*3|
*1 Molecular weight data are based on western blot analysis and information from the universal protein resource database (UniProt)
*2 The procaspase form is a monomer
*3 FMK is the abbreviation for fluoromethylketone. The addition of FMK to the peptide sequence results in irreversible linkage and permanent inactivation of caspases
We offer a wide range of antibodies to all caspases, in a number of formats. These antibodies can be used for applications including flow cytometry, western blotting, immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, immunoprecipitation and ELISA.
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