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Caspase-14 reveals its secrets

Authors
Journal
The Journal of Cell Biology
0021-9525
Publisher
The Rockefeller University Press
Publication Date
Volume
180
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1083/jcb.200709098
Keywords
  • Reviews
  • Mini-Review
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Caspase-14 is a unique member of the evolutionarily conserved family of cysteinyl aspartate–specific proteinases, which are mainly involved in inflammation and apoptosis. However, recent evidence also implicates these proteases in proliferation and differentiation. Although most caspases are ubiquitously expressed, caspase-14 expression is confined mainly to cornifying epithelia, such as the skin. Moreover, caspase-14 activation correlates with cornification, indicating that it plays a role in terminal keratinocyte differentiation. The determination of in vitro conditions for caspase-14 activity paved the way to identifying its substrates. The recent development of caspase-14–deficient mice underscored its importance in the correct degradation of (pro)filaggrin and in the formation of the epidermal barrier that protects against dehydration and UVB radiation. Here, we review the current knowledge on caspase-14 in skin homeostasis and disease.

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