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Caspase activation is an essential step of the apoptotic cascade that leads to cell death.
The two main pathways through which apoptotic cell death is initiated are the intrinsic and extrinsic cell death pathways, characterized by caspase 9 and caspase 8 activation, respectively.
Assays that determine caspase activity through cleavage of biochemical substrates are a quick and convenient method to assess caspase activation in cells. However, caution is recommended when interpreting the data from these experiments due to the following factors:
The tables below show known cross-reactivities with other caspases.