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Cell. 1994 Jul 29;78(2):343-52.

Crystal structure of the cysteine protease interleukin-1 beta-converting enzyme: a (p20/p10)2 homodimer.

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BASF Aktiengesellschaft, Main Laboratory, Ludwigshafen, Federal Republic of Germany.


Interleukin-1 beta-converting enzyme (ICE) proteolytically cleaves pro-IL-1 beta to its mature, active form. The crystal structure at 2.5 A resolution of a recombinant human ICE-tetrapeptide chloromethylketone complex reveals that the holoenzyme is a homodimer of catalytic domains, each of which contains a p20 and a p10 subunit. The spatial separation of the C-terminus of p20 and the N-terminus of p10 in each domain suggests two alternative pathways of assembly and activation in vivo. ICE is homologous to the C. elegans cell death gene product, CED-3, and these may represent a novel class of cytoplasmic cysteine proteases that are important in programmed cell death (apoptosis). Conservation among members of the ICE/CED-3 family of the amino acids that form the active site region of ICE supports the hypothesis that they share functional similarities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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