Peptidase C14, caspase domain (IPR011600)

Short name: Pept_C14_caspase

Domain relationships


This domain can be found in caspases (MEROPS family C12A) and metacaspases (MEROPS family C14B). Metacaspases adopt a caspase fold, with active site loops arranged similarly as other caspases [PMID: 22761449].

Caspases (Cysteine-dependent ASPartyl-specific proteASE) are cysteine peptidases [PMID: 11517925]. They are tightly regulated proteins that require zymogen activation to become active, and once active can be regulated by caspase inhibitors. Caspases are mainly involved in mediating cell death (apoptosis) [PMID: 10578171, PMID: 10872455, PMID: 15077141]. They have two main roles within the apoptosis cascade: as initiators that trigger the cell death process, and as effectors of the process itself. Caspases can have roles other than in apoptosis, such as caspase-1 (interleukin-1 beta convertase) (EC:, which is involved in the inflammatory process. The activation of apoptosis can sometimes lead to caspase-1 activation, providing a link between apoptosis and inflammation, such as during the targeting of infected cells. Caspases may also be involved in cell differentiation [PMID: 15066636].

Metacaspases are arginine/lysine-specific, in contrast to caspases, which are aspartate-specific. They are found only in plants [PMID: 17998208, PMID: 23522353], fungi [PMID: 18355456] and lower eukaryotes, including the protozoa [PMID: 23506317]. While plant metacaspases have been shown to be involved in cell death pathways, in other organisms they have evolved alternative functions [PMID: 21949125].

GO terms

Biological Process

GO:0006508 proteolysis

Molecular Function

GO:0004197 cysteine-type endopeptidase activity

Cellular Component

No terms assigned in this category.

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.