Crystal structure of procaspase-7

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 2.70 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.253 
  • R-Value Work: 0.227 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.231 

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Crystal structure of a procaspase-7 zymogen: mechanisms of activation and substrate binding

Chai, J.Wu, Q.Shiozaki, E.Srinivasula, S.M.Alnemri, E.S.Shi, Y.

(2001) Cell 107: 399-407

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/s0092-8674(01)00544-x
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  
    1K86, 1K88

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    Apoptosis is primarily executed by active caspases, which are derived from the inactive procaspase zymogens through proteolytic cleavage. Here we report the crystal structures of a caspase zymogen, procaspase-7, and an active caspase-7 without any bound inhibitors. Compared to the inhibitor-bound caspase-7, procaspase-7 zymogen exhibits significant structural differences surrounding the catalytic cleft, which precludes the formation of a productive conformation. Proteolytic cleavage between the large and small subunits allows rearrangement of essential loops in the active site, priming active caspase-7 for inhibitor/substrate binding. Strikingly, binding by inhibitors causes a 180 degrees flipping of the N terminus in the small subunit, which interacts with and stabilizes the catalytic cleft. These analyses reveal the structural mechanisms of caspase activation and demonstrate that the inhibitor/substrate binding is a process of induced fit.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Department of Molecular Biology, Lewis Thomas Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
A, B
253Homo sapiensMutation(s): 2 
EC: 3.4.22
UniProt & NIH Common Fund Data Resources
Find proteins for P55210 (Homo sapiens)
Explore P55210 
Go to UniProtKB:  P55210
PHAROS:  P55210
GTEx:  ENSG00000165806 
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupP55210
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 2.70 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.253 
  • R-Value Work: 0.227 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.231 
  • Space Group: P 32 2 1
Unit Cell:
Length ( Å )Angle ( ˚ )
a = 91.2α = 90
b = 91.2β = 90
c = 185.2γ = 120
Software Package:
Software NamePurpose
DENZOdata reduction
SCALEPACKdata scaling

Structure Validation

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Entry History 

Deposition Data

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2001-11-21
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2008-04-27
    Changes: Version format compliance
  • Version 1.2: 2011-07-13
    Changes: Version format compliance
  • Version 1.3: 2021-10-27
    Changes: Database references
  • Version 1.4: 2024-02-07
    Changes: Data collection