DOI: 10.1083/jcb.202201159 ISSN: 0021-9525

Paradoxical roles of caspase-3 in regulating cell survival, proliferation, and tumorigenesis

Ebrahim Eskandari, Connie J. Eaves
  • Cell Biology

Caspase-3 is a widely expressed member of a conserved family of proteins, generally recognized for their activated proteolytic roles in the execution of apoptosis in cells responding to specific extrinsic or intrinsic inducers of this mode of cell death. However, accumulating evidence indicates that caspase-3 also plays key roles in regulating the growth and homeostatic maintenance of both normal and malignant cells and tissues in multicellular organisms. Given that yeast possess an ancestral caspase-like gene suggests that the caspase-3 protein may have acquired different functions later during evolution to better meet the needs of more complex multicellular organisms, but without necessarily losing all of the functions of its ancestral yeast precursor. This review provides an update on what has been learned about these interesting dichotomous roles of caspase-3, their evolution, and their potential relevance to malignant as well as normal cell biology.

More from our Archive