Apoptosis & Caspase 7, PMAP

Caspase-7 is a member of the caspase (cysteine aspartate protase) family of proteins, and has been shown to be an executioner protein of apoptosis. Sequential activation of caspases plays a central role in the execution-phase of cell apoptosis. Caspases exist as inactive proenzymes which undergo proteolytic processing by upstream caspases (caspase-8, -9)at conserved aspartic residues to produce two subunits, large and small, that dimerize to form the active enzyme in the form of a heterotetramer. The precursor of this caspase is cleaved by caspase 3, caspase 10, and caspase 9. It is activated upon cell death stimuli and induces apoptosis. Alternative splicing results in four transcript variants, encoding three distinct isoforms.

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