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EMBO J. 1995 May 1;14(9):1914-22.

A novel human protease similar to the interleukin-1 beta converting enzyme induces apoptosis in transfected cells.

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Roussel-Uclaf, Romainville, France.


We have identified a novel cDNA encoding a protein (named TX) with > 50% overall sequence identity with the interleukin-1 beta converting enzyme (ICE) and approximately 30% sequence identity with the ICE homologs NEDD-2/ICH-1L and CED-3. A computer homology model of TX was constructed based on the X-ray coordinates of the ICE crystal recently published. This model suggests that TX is a cysteine protease, with the P1 aspartic acid substrate specificity retained. Transfection experiments demonstrate that TX is a protease which is able to cleave itself and the p30 ICE precursor, but not to generate mature IL-1 beta from pro-IL-1 beta. In addition, this protein induces apoptosis in transfected COS cells. TX therefore delineates a new member of the growing Ice/ced-3 gene family coding for proteases with cytokine processing activity or involved in programmed cell death.

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