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Nature. 1994 Jul 28;370(6487):270-5.

Structure and mechanism of interleukin-1 beta converting enzyme.

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  • 1Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139.


Interleukin-1 beta converting enzyme (ICE) processes an inactive precursor to the proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin-1 beta, and may regulate programmed cell death in neuronal cells. The high-resolution structure of human ICE in complex with an inhibitor has been determined by X-ray diffraction. The structure confirms the relationship between human ICE and cell-death proteins in other organisms. The active site spans both the 10 and 20K subunits, which associate to form a tetramer, suggesting a mechanism for ICE autoactivation.

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