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Trends Cell Biol. 1996 Jul;6(7):245-8.

ICE/CED-3 proteasesin apoptosis.

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Moira Whyte is at the Dept of Medicine and Pharmacology (Section of Respiratory Medicine), University of Sheffield, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK S10 2JF.


An expanding family of cysteine proteases, of which interleukin-1beta-converting enzyme (ICE) is the prototype, has been shown to play a key role in mammalian cell apoptosis. ICE is both a structural and functional homologue of the nematode 'death gene' ced-3. Here, Moira Whyte discusses how functional characterization of these ICE-like proteases and identification of their substrates is helping to elucidate the biochemical processes underlying the stereotyped morphology of apoptosis and to identify potential targets for therapy.


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