Caspases (cysteine-aspartic proteases or cysteine-dependent aspartate-directed proteases) are a family of protease enzymes playing essential roles in programmed cell death. Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death where the cell undergoes morphological changes to minimize its effect on surrounding cells to avoid inducing an immune response. So far, 14 kinds of caspase have been discovered, which can be divided into 3 groups according to their structure and function. Caspase 2/8/9/10 with large-prodomain are the initial caspase of apoptosis. Caspase 3/6/7 with small-prodomain are mainly related to the final execution of apoptosis. Caspase1/4/5/14 are mainly related to the production of inflammatory signals and immune regulation.

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