Pro-caspase-9 molecule. Computer artwork showing the secondary structure of a molecule of pro- caspase-9. Pro-caspase-9 is an inactive form (proenzyme) of the caspase-9 enzyme. It is activated by being cleaved by another enzyme. Caspase-9 is a protease, an enzyme that cleaves proteins, that plays a role in apoptosis (programmed cell death). It also activates other caspases as part of the caspase cascade of apoptosis. Caspase-9 has been found to be critical for UV-induced apoptosis in skin cells and therefore, for the prevention of skin cancer.
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