Evolution of Caspase‐1 Inhibitors

Abstract

CARD only protein 1 (COP1), inhibitory caspase recruitment domain (INCA) and ICEBERG are caspase recruitment domain (CARD)‐only proteins that inhibit the activation of cysteine‐dependent ASPartyl‐specific proteASE (caspase)‐1 or CASP‐1. Although CASP‐1 is widespread in vertebrates, CASP‐1 inhibitors are exclusively found in primates. The most ancient CASP‐1 inhibitor was found in the genome of a tree shrew, an ancestor of primates. The inhibitors are mapped in tandem at human chromosome 11 and their origin is directly and indirectly related to CASP‐1 gene duplications. Different stop codons arose in the duplicated copies just upstream of the catalytic domain of CASP‐1 generating CARD‐only proteins. In this review we discuss the most recent findings regarding the evolution of both caspases and their inhibitors.

Key concepts

  • COP, INCA and ICEBERG are CASP‐1 inhibitors.

  • COP, INCA and ICEBERG arose directly or indirectly from CASP‐1 duplications.

  • Procaspase‐1 contains a CARD and peptidase C14 domain, but the inhibitors contain only the CARD domain.

  • Stop codons upstream of the peptidase C14 domain where important for the generation of CASP‐1 inhibitors.

Keywords: caspase‐1; inhibitors; COP; INCA; ICEBERG; gene duplication

Figure 1.

Schematic representation of genomic duplications generating CASP‐1 inhibitors. ‘Ancient genomic’ represents the organization of genomic region before the duplication of CASP‐1. Numbers represent chronological order of genomic duplications originating the CASP‐1 inhibitors. ‘Current genomic’ represents the genomic organization of CASP‐1 and its inhibitors found in the human genome sequence (hg18). Yellow rectangles represent the genomic transcribed region of CASP‐1 inhibitors.

Figure 2.

Exon/intron organization of CASP‐1 and its inhibitors. (a) Representation of CASP‐1 genomic region (coding exons) and a known CASP‐1 transcript. (b) Representation of CASP‐1 inhibitors genomic regions and their transcripts. Black rectangles represent the genomic regions homologous to known exons in the CASP‐1 gene. ‘Known transcript’ represents a consensus transcript found for each one of genes.

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Further Reading

Degterev A and Yuan J (2008) Expansion and evolution of cell death programmes. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 9: 378–390.

Deponte M (2008) Programmed cell death in protists. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1783: 1396–1405.

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Oberst A, Bender C and Green DR (2008) Living with death: the evolution of the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis in animals. Cell Death & Differentiation 15: 1139–1146.

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How to Cite close
da Cunha, Julia Pinheiro Chagas, Galante, Pedro Alexandre F, and de Souza, Sandro José(Dec 2009) Evolution of Caspase‐1 Inhibitors. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0021743]