Antibodies Reveal A Non-apoptotic Role For Uterine Caspase 3

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 10:00

We have seen that antibody research can deliver progress in areas where other methods have not enjoyed such success.

Caspase 3 is primarily known as an effector molecule in apoptosis, the process of programmed cell death. However, a study by Jeyasuria et al (Biol. Reprod. 2009, 80(5) pp. 928-934) has found that caspase 3 may have a role in preventing excessive uterine contractions before pregnancy reaches term. This is essential to preventing premature labour. The authors used immunological techniques with a group of antibodies to demonstrate this phenomenon. Smooth muscle γ-actin is a protein found only in smooth muscle. Thus, antibody to smooth muscle γ-actin (ACTG2) from Novus Biologicals was chosen to identify caspase 3 action in the smooth muscle of the uterus.

On the basis of their results, the authors concluded that the elevated activity of caspase 3 seen in the pregnant mouse uterus is not associated with apoptosis.

Western Blot: Caspase 3 Antibody Western Blot: Caspase 3 Antibody

Caspase 3 activity is maintained at a high level by progesterone (P4). It promotes cleavage of smooth muscle actins. Consequently, the contractile architecture of the uterus is maintained in a degraded state. This makes the uterus less capable of contracting during the course of the pregnancy.

As progesterone levels fall at the end of pregnancy, there is a parallel decrease in caspase 3 activity. The contractile architecture of the uterus is subsequently fully restored and the uterus becomes ready for the contractions of labour.

The Novus Biologicals antibody catalog offers a range of antibodies, including caspase 3 and its precursor to facilitate research into its apoptotic and non-apoptotic activities.

Novus Biologicals offers many caspase 3 reagents for your research needs including:

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