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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Sep 22;348(2):682-8. Epub 2006 Jul 28.

Identification of a novel exon encoding the amino-terminus of the predominant caspase-5 variants.

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Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Vienna, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.


Caspase-5 is a caspase-1-like protease with pro-apoptotic and pro-inflammatory activities. Here we have identified a novel exon at the 5'-end of the human caspase-5 gene. This novel exon was present in six alternatively spliced caspase-5 mRNA variants expressed in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and encoded the previously unknown amino-terminus of caspase-5. The genomic region upstream of this exon contained sequence elements homologous to those of the caspase-11 promoter in the mouse, and transcription of caspase-5 was upregulated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in a caspase-11-like manner in human PBMC in vivo. Taken together, our findings call for a revision of the structure of caspase-5 at the genomic level as well as at the mRNA and protein levels.

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