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Type: Journal article
Title: Caspases in metabolic disease and their therapeutic potential
Author: Wilson, C.
Kumar, S.
Citation: Cell Death and Differentiation, 2018; 25(6):1010-1024
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 1350-9047
Statement of
Claire H Wilson, Sharad Kumar
Abstract: Caspases, a family of cysteine-dependent aspartate-specific proteases, are central to the maintenance of cellular and organismal homoeostasis by functioning as key mediators of the inflammatory response and/or apoptosis. Both metabolic inflammation and apoptosis play a central role in the pathogenesis of metabolic disease such as obesity and the progression of nonalcoholic steatohepatisis (NASH) to more severe liver disease. Obesity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are the leading global health challenges associated with the development of numerous comorbidities including insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes and early mortality. Despite the high prevalence, current treatment strategies including lifestyle, dietary, pharmaceutical and surgical interventions, are often limited in their efficacy to manage or treat obesity, and there are currently no clinical therapies for NAFLD/NASH. As mediators of inflammation and cell death, caspases are attractive therapeutic targets for the treatment of these metabolic diseases. As such, pan-caspase inhibitors that act by blocking apoptosis have reached phase I/II clinical trials in severe liver disease. However, there is still a lack of knowledge of the specific and differential functions of individual caspases. In addition, cross-talk between alternate cell death pathways is a growing concern for long-term caspase inhibition. Evidence is emerging of the important cell-death-independent, non-apoptotic functions of caspases in metabolic homoeostasis that may be of therapeutic value. Here, we review the current evidence for roles of caspases in metabolic disease and discuss their potential targeting as a therapeutic strategy.
Keywords: Liver
Insulin Resistance
Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Description: Published online: 9 May 2018
Rights: © ADMC Associazione Differenziamento e Morte Cellulare 2018
DOI: 10.1038/s41418-018-0111-x
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