Skip Navigation
Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions About   Site Map   Contact Us
 
Home A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q-R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y-Z

Caspase

Synonym(s)

  • cysteine endopeptidase

Definition(s)

The caspases are a family of proteases responsible for carrying out the cell death process. In a living cell, these proteases are kept inactive by proteins on the mitochondrial cell surface from the BcL-2 family. When a cell is exposed to cell death signals such as ischemia, chemotherapy or radiation, BcL-2 function is blocked and caspase activators initiate the cell death cascade.

Definition from: NCI Thesaurus via Unified Medical Language SystemThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. at the National Library of Medicine

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

 
Published: September 15, 2014