Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, is a process of fundamental importance to cellular homeostasis in metazoan organisms (Ellis, R. E., Yuan, J., and Horvitz, H. R. (1991) Annu. Rev. Cell Biol. 7, 663-698). The caspase family of mammalian proteases, related to the nematode death protein CED-3, plays a crucial role in apoptosis and inflammation. We report here the isolation and characterization of a new caspase, tentatively termed ERICE (Evolutionarily Related Interleukin-1␤ Converting Enzyme). Based on phylo… Show more
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