Modulating or inhibiting Caspase activities

In a previous post, I discussed Caspases as pharmaceutical targets – how to screen for inhibitors?

Today I would like to concentrate on Caspase inhibitors/modulators, which allow for in-depth characterisation of your enzyme of interest and which can serve as reference compounds in caspase inhibitor screenings. A short recap: Caspases (Cysteine-dependent aspartate-directed proteases) belong to the family of cysteine proteases and are involved in networks controlling cell death (apoptosis and necrosis) and inflammation. Amongst the 12 known human caspases, 5 have been described as playing a crucial role in  apoptosis (Caspase-3, -6, -7, -8, and -9), 4 have been linked to processes in inflammation (Caspase-1, -4, -5, and -12), and 3 (Caspase-2, -10, and -14) could not yet be exactly classified concerning their functions. [Read more…]