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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2000 Dec;10(6):649-55.

Caspases: key players in programmed cell death.

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  • 1Institute of Biochemistry, University of Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057, Zürich, Switzerland.


Research in apoptosis has established a central role for caspases. The recent determination of structures of caspase-1, caspase-3 and caspase-8, together with biochemical studies, has greatly enhanced our understanding of the structure, function and specificity of these enzymes. This provides a basis for the further elucidation of the biological role of caspases and a guide to the design of selective inhibitors to treat caspase-mediated diseases.

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