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Sci. STKE, 12 October 2004
Vol. 2004, Issue 254, p. pe49
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.2542004pe49]


Migrate, Differentiate, Proliferate, or Die: Pleiotropic Functions of an Apical "Apoptotic Caspase"

Sharad Kumar*

Hanson Institute, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, P.O. Box 14, Rundle Mall, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia.

Abstract: Caspases, the cysteine proteases that cleave their substrates following an aspartate residue, primarily carry out two distinct functions: (i) activation of proinflammatory cytokines and (ii) execution of apoptosis. These two functions are considered to be unique to individual caspases; thus, some caspases act in apoptosis, whereas others have a role in inflammation. However, this dogma is now being challenged as nonapoptotic functions are ascribed to caspases that, until recently, were only known to function in cell death pathways. Recent work suggests that DRONC, the only initiator cell death caspase in Drosophila, may play a direct or indirect role in cell migration, sperm differentiation, and cell proliferation in addition to its function in cell death.

*Corresponding author. Telephone, +61-8-8222-3738; fax, +61-8-8222-3139; e-mail: sharad.kumar{at}

Citation: S. Kumar, Migrate, Differentiate, Proliferate, or Die: Pleiotropic Functions of an Apical "Apoptotic Caspase". Sci. STKE 2004, pe49 (2004).

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