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Unlike other caspase family members, caspase-14 shows restricted expression, being found mostly in epidermis and its appendages. It has been suggested that caspase-14 is not involved in apoptosis or inflammation, but participates in keratinocyte terminal differentiation. Its activation occurs at the corneocyte formation. In previous work, we have purified active caspase-14 from human corneocyte extracts. In addition, we have clarified activation mechanism of caspase-14, where kallikrein-related peptidase 7 (KLK7) generates an intermediate form from procaspase-14 and this form finally converts procaspase-14 to active, mature caspase-14. Here we describe techniques for measurement of caspase-14 activity using synthetic substrate, purification of caspase-14 from corneocyte extract, preparation of constitutively active caspase-14 and specific antibody, quantification of total and active caspase-14 in corneocyte extracts using ELISA, as well as methods for caspase-14 activation and its visualization by immunohistochemistry.
Key wordsCaspase-14 Epidermis Keratinocyte Terminal differentiation Corneocyte Kallikrein-related peptidase