Role of caspases in neural degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

B. Sela*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Animal model of the motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), has implicated apoptotis in the neuronal degeneration evident in this disease. Mice showing ALS-like symptoms, as well as several human families with ALS, have a missense mutation in the gene coding for DOD-1. A defective enzyme enhances neuronal cell death by activating interleukin converting enzyme (ICE), an initia of apoptosis. The role of caspase-1 and caspase-3 in the apoptotic process is apparent and the use of the caspase inhibitor zVAD-fink demonstrated some promise in slowing neural death by apoptosis and prolonging life in mice with ALS-like symptoms. We discuss the possible mechanisms of caspase enzymes cascade activation and their central role in apoptosis and possibly in neural death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1100-1104, 1115
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes


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