alexa Neural stem cell differentiation is dependent upon endogenous caspase 3 activity.
Molecular Biology

Molecular Biology

Cell & Developmental Biology

Author(s): Fernando P, Brunette S, Megeney LA

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Abstract Caspase proteases have become the focal point for the development and application of anti-apoptotic therapies in a variety of central nervous system diseases. However, this approach is based on the premise that caspase function is limited to invoking cell death signals. Here, we show that caspase-3 activity is elevated in nonapoptotic differentiating neuronal cell populations. Moreover, peptide inhibition of protease activity effectively inhibits the differentiation process in a cultured neurosphere model. These results implicate caspase-3 activation as a conserved feature of neuronal differentiation and suggest that targeted inhibition of this protease in neural cell populations may have unintended consequences. This article was published in FASEB J and referenced in Cell & Developmental Biology

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