Caspases are a family of protease enzymes playing essential roles in programmed cell death and inflammation. The acronym caspase stands for Cysteine Aspartic Acid Specific Protease due to their specific cleavage of an aspartic acid residue, by mean of a cysteine in the catalytic site of the enzyme.
About 11 or 12 different caspases are known in humans and 10 in mice, participating in numerous different cellular functions. Caspase deficiency, for example, has been identified as a cause of tumor development, while over-activation of some caspases such as caspase-3 can lead to excessive apoptosis that can be observed in several neurodegenerative diseases. Caspases cleave proteins at specific peptide recognition sequences. Ac-DEVD-6-Amino-D-Luciferin (Ac-Asp-Glu-Val-Asp-6-Amino-D-Luciferin, Cat.No
L-8282) is a synthetic chemiluminescent peptide for the determination of caspase-3 and caspase-7activity.