Caspase-1 molecule

Caspase-1 molecule

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Credit: LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Caspase-1 molecule. Computer model showing caspase-1 complexed with small inhibitors (cyan). Caspase-1 is a protease, an enzyme that cleaves proteins. It is found predominantly in the cell cytoplasm, where it activates interleukin-1-beta, a molecule that mediates immune and inflammatory responses. Due to this activity caspase-1 is also known as ICE (interleukin-1-beta converting enzyme). Like other caspases it also plays a role in apoptosis (programmed cell death), but only when over-expressed.

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