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FEBS Lett. 1997 Feb 10;403(1):61-9.

Characterization of seven murine caspase family members.

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Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology and University of Ghent, Belgium.


Seven members of the murine caspase (mCASP) family were cloned and functionally characterized by transient overexpression: mCASP-1 (mICE), mCASP-2 (Ich1), mCASP-3 (CPP32), mCASP-6 (Mch2), mCASP-7 (Mch3), mCASP-11 (TX) and mCASP-12. mCASP-11 is presumably the murine homolog of human CASP-4. Although mCASP-12 is related to human CASP-5 (ICErel-III), it is most probably a new CASP-1 family member. On the basis of sequence homology, the caspases can be divided into three subfamilies: first, mCASP-1, mCASP-11 and mCASP-12; second, mCASP-2; third, mCASP-3, mCASP-6 and mCASP-7. The tissue distribution of the CASP-1 subfamily transcripts is more restricted than that of the CASP-3 subfamily transcripts, suggesting that the transcriptional regulation of the CASP members within one subfamily is related, but is quite different between the CASP-1 and the CASP-3 subfamilies. Transient overexpression of each of the seven CASPs induced apoptosis in mammalian cells. Only two, mCASP-1 as well as mCASP-3, were able to process precursor interleukin (IL)-1beta to biologically active IL-1beta. In addition, mCASP-3 is the predominant PARP-cleaving enzyme in vivo.

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