ICE/CED3-like proteases as therapeutic targets for the control of inappropriate apoptosis

Nat Biotechnol. 1996 Mar;14(3):297-301. doi: 10.1038/nbt0396-297.


Excessive or failed apoptosis is a prominent morphological feature of several human diseases. Many of the key biochemical players that contribute to the highly ordered process of apoptotic cell death have recently been identified. These include members of the emerging family of cysteine proteases related to mammalian interleukin-1 beta converting enzyme (ICE) and to CED-3, the product of a gene that is necessary for programmed cell death in the nematode C. elegans. Among a growing number of potential molecular targets for the control of human diseases where inappropriate apoptosis is prominent, ICE/CED-3-like proteases may be an attractive and tangible point for therapeutic intervention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Biotechnology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Caspases*
  • Catalysis
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / physiology*
  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Oligopeptides / chemistry
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacology
  • Protein Conformation


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors
  • Oligopeptides
  • Caspases
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • ced-3 protein, C elegans