A Cinderella Caspase Takes Center Stage

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Science  23 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5585, pp. 1290-1291
DOI: 10.1126/science.1076118

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It has been thought that permeabilization of mitochondria and release of cytochrome c is an ea rly event in apoptosis that is required for activation of caspases, the enzyme executioners of the apoptotic cascade. However, in a Perspective, Kumar and Vaux explain new findings ( Lassus et al.) that implicate an often ignored caspase, caspase-2, in the early stages of apoptosis prior to mitochondrial permeabilization.