Caspase 3
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  Caspase 3

Caspase 3

   An enzyme that plays a key role in programmed cell death, or apoptosis. Caspase 3 has been called the "henchman that goes around and executes the cell." It is a member of the family of asparate-specific cysteinyl proteases and is also known as caspase-3, CPP32, apopain, or YAMA.


A cellular protein whose shape allows it to hold together several other molecules in close proximity to each other. In this way, enzymes are able to induce chemical reactions in other substances with little expenditure of energy and without being changed themselves. Basically, an enzyme acts as a catalyst.

Fundamental structural unit of all life. The cell consists primarily of an outer plasma membrane, which separates it from the environment; the genetic material (DNA), which encodes heritable information for the maintainance of life; and the cytoplasm, a heterogeneous assemblage of ions, molecules, and fluid.

1. The end of life. The cessation of life. (These common definitions of death ultimately depend upon the definition of life, upon which there is no consensus.) 2. The permanent cessation of all vital bodily functions. (This definition depends upon the definition of "vital bodily functions.") See: Vital bodily functions. 3. The common law standard for determining death is the cessation of all vital functions, traditionally demonstrated by "an absence of spontaneous respiratory and cardiac functions." 4. The uniform determination of death.

A form of cell death in which a programmed sequence of events leads to the elimination of cells without releasing harmful substances into the surrounding area. Apoptosis plays a crucial role in developing and maintaining health by eliminating old cells, unnecessary cells, and unhealthy cells. The human body replaces perhaps a million cells a second. Too little or too much apoptosis plays a role in a great many diseases. When programmed cell death does not work right, cells that should be eliminated may hang around and become immortal. For example, in cancer and leukemia. When apoptosis works overly well, it kills too many cells and inflicts grave tissue damage. This is the case in strokes and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer, Huntington and Parkinson diseases. Apoptosis is also called programmed cell death or cell suicide. Strictly speaking, the term apoptosis refers only to the structural changes cells go through, and programmed cell death refers to the complete underlying process, but the terms are often used interchangeably.

1. A group of individuals related by blood or marriage or by a feeling of closeness. 2. A biological classification of related plants or animals that is a division below the order and above the genus. 3. A group of genes related in structure and in function that descended from an ancestral gene. 4. A group of gene products similarly related in structure and function and of shared genetic descent. 5. Parents and their children. The most fundamental social group in humans.

See: Caspase 3.



A sequence of successive activation reactions involving enzymes (enzyme cascade) or hormones (hormone cascade) characterized by a series of amplifications of an initial stimulus. In blood coagulation, for example, each enzyme activates the next until the final product, the fibrin clot, is reached.

Case-fatality proportion
The number of cases of a disease ending in death compared to the number of cases of the disease. Usually expressed as a percentage.

Case-to-infection ratio
The ratio of the number of cases of a disease compared to the number of infections with the agent that causes the disease. Also called the case-to-infection proportion.

The main protein found in milk and other dairy products.

Cashew allergy
An allergic reaction to cashew nuts. Cashew allergy can be isolated, meaning that the individual is only allergic to cashews and not to other nuts, or the allergy may extend to other kinds of tree nuts such as walnuts and pistachios. Isolated cashew allergy can strike children or adults. No prior exposure to cashews is required for an allergic reaction to cashews.

Caspase 3

A pre-existing structure into which an insert can be moved. In molecular biology, a gene conversion process in which the old gene is replaced with a copy of a silent gene and the new copy becomes active. As the process involves replacing one ready made construct with another in an active slot, it is termed a cassette mechanism.

Casting, serial
The use of successive casts to reshape deformed or spastic limbs.

Castleman disease
A disorder of lymphoid tissue (lymphadenopathy) with massive overgrowth (hyperplasia) of lymph nodes ("swollen glands"), most commonly affecting the nodes between the lungs (in the mediastinum).

Cat cry syndrome
A disorder caused by the loss of part of the short (p) arm from chromosome 5. Also called the cri du chat (or cri-du-chat) syndrome.

Cat eye syndrome
A constitutional chromosome abnormality (one that is present at or before birth) with multiple malformations characterized by the combination of a cat-like slit of the iris of the eye (vertical coloboma) and no anal opening (anal atresia). Frequently there are also down slanting eye slits (palpebral fissures), tissue tags or pits just in front of the ears, heart malformations and kidney anomalies.

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