The Journal of biological chemistry

FLICE is predominantly expressed as two functionally active isoforms, caspase-8/a and caspase-8/b.

PMID 9341131


Induction of apoptosis by the cell surface receptor CD95 (APO-1/Fas) has been shown to involve activation of a family of cysteine proteases (caspases). Recently, a new member of this family has been identified, designated FLICE (caspase-8/MACH/Mch5). FLICE is part of the CD95 death-inducing signaling complex and is therefore the most upstream caspase in the CD95 apoptotic pathway. A total of eight different isoforms of FLICE (caspase-8/a-h) have been described. To determine which isoforms are expressed in different cells we have generated a panel of monoclonal antibodies directed against all functional domains of FLICE. Using these antibodies we could show that only two of the FLICE isoforms (caspase-8/a and caspase-8/b) were predominantly expressed in cells of different origin. Both isoforms were recruited to the CD95 death-inducing signaling complex and were activated upon CD95 stimulation with similar kinetics. Taken together, only two of the eight published caspase-8 isoforms could be detected in significant amounts at the protein level.