Category Archives: News

The CaspBase is now live

Dr. Bob Grinshpon developed the CaspBase, a curated database with over 2,000 sequences of caspase proteins from over 360 taxa. Bob’s paper describing the database is now in press at Protein Science and is titled:¬†The CaspBase: A curated database for evolutionary biochemical studies of caspase functional divergence and ancestral sequence inference.

Using data from the CaspBase, we describe the utility of the database by analyzing levels of sequence conservation among caspase homologs, and we discuss how the CaspBase lends itself to evolutionary biochemistry and ancestral protein reconstruction (APR) analysis of common caspase ancestral proteins.

The database is available at

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ASBMB Today Interview with Dr. Melvin Thomas III

ASBMB_Today_ThomasMelvin’s recent JBC paper was the subject of this recent interview in ASBMB Today. Melvin showed that an evolutionarily conserved phosphorylation site in caspases uses a common allosteric¬† network to decrease the activity of caspase-3. A mutation in mammalian caspase-3 introduces a kill-switch into the enzyme so that it is turned off when the site is phosphorylated.

Melvin’s paper was published recently in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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