IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: caspase-2

Reaction: Strict requirement for an Asp residue at P1, with Asp316 being essential for proteolytic activity and has a preferred cleavage sequence of Val-Asp-Val-Ala-Asp

Other name(s): ICH-1; NEDD-2; caspase-2L; caspase-2S; neural precursor cell expressed developmentally down-regulated protein 2; CASP-2; NEDD2 protein

Comments: Caspase-2 is an initiator caspase, as are caspase-8 (EC, caspase-9 (EC and caspase-10 (EC [6]. Contains a caspase-recruitment domain (CARD) in its N-terminal prodomain, which plays a role in procaspase activation [6]. Two forms of caspase-2 with antagonistic effects exist: caspase-2L induces programmed cell death and caspase-2S suppresses cell death [2,3,5]. Caspase-2 is activated by caspase-3 (EC, or by a caspase-3-like protease. Activation involves cleavage of the N-terminal prodomain, followed by self-proteolysis between the large and small subunits of pro-caspase-2 and further proteolysis into smaller fragments [3]. Proteolysis occurs at Asp residues and the preferred substrate for this enzyme is a pentapeptide rather than a tetrapeptide [5]. Apart from itself, the enzyme can cleave golgin-16, which is present in the Golgi complex and has a cleavage site that is unique for caspase-2 [4,5]. αII-Spectrin, a component of the membrane cytoskeleton, is a substrate of the large isoform of pro-caspase-2 (caspase-2L) but not of the short isoform (caspase-2S). Belongs in peptidase family C14.

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, MEROPS, Metacyc, PDB, CAS registry number: 182372-14-1


1. Kumar, S., Kinoshita, M., Noda, M., Copeland, N.G. and Jenkins, N.A. Induction of apoptosis by the mouse Nedd2 gene, which encodes a protein similar to the product of the Caenorhabditis elegans cell death gene ced-3 and the mammalian IL-1β-converting enzyme. Genes Dev. 8 (1994) 1613-1626. [PMID: 7958843]

2. Wang, L., Miura, M., Bergeron, L., Zhu, H. and Yuan, J. Ich-1, an Ice/ced-3-related gene, encodes both positive and negative regulators of programmed cell death. Cell 78 (1994) 739-750. [PMID: 8087842]

3. Li, H., Bergeron, L., Cryns, V., Pasternack, M.S., Zhu, H., Shi, L., Greenberg, A. and Yuan, J. Activation of caspase-2 in apoptosis. J. Biol. Chem. 272 (1997) 21010-21017. [PMID: 9261102]

4. Mancini, M., Machamer, C.E., Roy, S., Nicholson, D.W., Thornberry, N.A., Casciola-Rosen, L.A. and Rosen, A. Caspase-2 is localized at the Golgi complex and cleaves golgin-160 during apoptosis. J. Cell Biol. 149 (2000) 603-612. [PMID: 10791974]

5. Zhivotovsky, B. and Orrenius, S. Caspase-2 function in response to DNA damage. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 331 (2005) 859-867. [PMID: 15865942]

6. Chang, H.Y. and Yang, X. Proteases for cell suicide: functions and regulation of caspases. Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 64 (2000) 821-846. [PMID: 11104820]

[EC created 2006]

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