Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Bioessays. 1997 Nov;19(11):1011-8.

Calpains: intact and active?

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.


Calpains are a family of calcium-dependent thiol-proteases which are proposed to be involved in many physiological processes as well as pathological conditions. Calpains are likely to be involved in processing of numerous enzymes and cytoskeletal components, thereby linking their activity to a variety of intracellular events. Although widely studied, the precise mechanism(s) involved in calpain activation and activity in vivo remain poorly understood. Initial studies suggested that calpain exists primarily as an inactive proenzyme that required autolytic cleavage for activation. It was also hypothesized that calpain associated with membrane phospholipids, serving to increase calcium sensitivity, facilitating autolytic conversion and thus activating the enzyme. These hypotheses, however, have not been universally accepted and there is increasing evidence that intact, non-autolyzed calpain is the physiologically active calpain form.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center