, Volume 117, Issue 1, pp 219-221
Date: 14 Oct 2008

MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells do not express caspase-3

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Apoptosis, a fundamental process essential for normal tissue homeostasis and development, is closely associated with the activation of a class of aspartate-specific cysteine-dependent proteases, called caspases, that lead to the demise of the cell via limited proteolysis of a multitude of cellular substrates [1, 2]. Caspases are expressed as inactive zymogens that become activated upon cleavage by other caspases in a so-called caspase activation cascade, or by mere oligomerization instigated by the formation of large multi-protein complexes such as the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) or the apoptosome [3, 4]. Whereas DISC formation occurs via the so-called extrinsic death pathway that is instigated by activation of members of the death receptor family such as CD95, tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNF-R) or the receptors of the TNF-R-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), the apoptosome is formed following activation of mitochondria and is hence termed the intrinsic or mitoc ...