, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 667-670
Date: 15 Jul 2014

Non-apoptotic role of caspase-3 in synapse refinement

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Caspases, a family of cysteine proteases, mediate programmed cell death during early neural development and neurodegeneration, as well as following neurotoxic insults. Notably, accumulating lines of evidence have shown non-apoptotic roles of caspases in the structural and functional plasticity of neuronal circuits under physiological conditions, such as growth-cone dynamics and axonal/dendritic pruning, as well as neuronal excitability and plasticity. Here, we summarize recent progress on the roles of caspases in synaptic refinement.