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In Vitro Use of Peptide Based Substrates and Inhibitors of Apoptotic Caspases

McStay, Gavin P. (2016) In Vitro Use of Peptide Based Substrates and Inhibitors of Apoptotic Caspases. Methods in Molecular Biology, 1419. pp. 57-67. ISSN 1064-3745

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Abstract or description

Caspases are proteases that are essential components of apoptotic cell death pathways. There are approximately one dozen apoptotic caspases found in organisms where cells die via apoptosis. These caspases are responsible for initiation or execution of apoptosis through the proteolytic cleavage of specific substrates. These substrates contain specific motifs that are recognized and cleaved by caspases that results in alterations of substrate function that promotes the apoptotic phenotype. Analysis of caspase involvement, much like any other protease, can be followed using peptides corresponding to cleavage motifs of these substrates, which can be used as substrates, inhibitors or affinity-based probes.
Different caspases have different substrates and therefore different motifs are recognized by each different caspase. However, these different caspases have a common amino acid recognition pattern containing an aspartic acid residue at the amino-side of the cleavage site. Therefore, caspase substrates have a certain overlap in the cleavage motif as this aspartic acid is found in almost everyone. This means that certain peptide motifs are not exclusively cleaved by one single caspase. This lack of exclusive cleavage has brought the use of these motif-based probes into question and spurred the development of truly caspase-specific motifs. This article will describe the use of peptide-based probes to measure caspase activity while highlighting the limitations of these reagents.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Gavin MCSTAY
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2019 16:15
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2019 16:15

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