Caspase 14 - A unique caspase needed for skin differentiation

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 14:54

Caspases are typically known for their role in cell death. However some caspases have recently been investigated for their function during cell proliferation and differentiation. Of these caspase-14 shows a unique expression pattern in the skin and appears to be involved in keratinocyte differentiation. Procaspase-14 is detected in the stratifying epithelium while activated caspase-14 is found only in terminally differentiated keratinocytes (1). Caspase-14 activity is not involved in apoptosis. Instead, caspase-14 is important for keratinization of the epithelium. One of the substrates of activated caspase-14 is profilaggrin, a structural protein that interacts with keratin (1). During keratinization profilaggrin is cleaved into filaggrin monomers to help form a tightly packed and extensively cross-linked keratin matrix (1). Blocking filaggrin processing by caspase-14 results in defects in water retention and protection from UVB irradiation (1). This was demonstrated in a study by Denecker et al. using caspase-14 antibody to monitor protein levels in normal and knockout mice (2). Investigation of caspase-14 function in normal skin differentiation will be important for understanding its role in disease as well.

Researchers at the Burnham Institute examined caspase-14 antibody to monitor protein expression in various types of epithelial malignancies (3). The tumor-specific changes in caspase-14 expression correlated with tumor stage and patient survival. This study demonstrates the potential use of caspase-14 antibody as a diagnostic tool (3). In addition to the skin, keratinized epithelia are found in various body tissues including the oral mucosa. A study by Murakami et al. used caspase-14 antibody to examine the role of caspase-14 in periodontal health (4). This study was able to identify a drug that increases caspase-14 expression and improved oral health in their model system. Together these studies show the utility of caspase-14 antibody as a tool to investigate important clinically relevant biological systems.

Novus Biologicals offers Caspase 14 reagents for your research needs including:


  1. 18250198
  2. 17515931
  3. 16061862
  4. 24329962

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