Apoptosis-independent functions of killer caspases

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2002 Dec;14(6):721-6. doi: 10.1016/s0955-0674(02)00384-8.


Caspases are well known for their role in the execution of the apoptotic program by cleaving specific target proteins, leading to the dismantling of the cell, as well as for mediating cytokine maturation. Recent work has highlighted novel non-apoptotic activities of apoptotic caspases. These reports indicate that caspases are much more versatile enzymes than we originally expected. In addition to regulating cell survival and cytokine maturation, caspases may be involved in regulating cell differentiation, cell proliferation, spreading and receptor internalization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Caspases / physiology*
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Survival
  • Models, Biological
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism


  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Caspases