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Indication of Participation of Caspase-2 and Caspase-5 in Mechanisms of Human Cervical Malignancy
  1. Evaggelos Babas, MD, PhD*,
  2. Maria T. Ekonomopoulou, MSc, PhD*,
  3. Irine Karapidaki, PhD*,
  4. Anestakis Doxakis, MD*,
  5. George Betsas, MD and
  6. Zafiroula Iakovidou-Kritsi*
  1. * Laboratory of Biology and Genetics, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece; and
  2. Third Department of Obstetric Gynecology, Ippokration Hospital of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Zafiroula Iakovidou-Kritsi, PhD, Laboratory of Biology and Genetics, Medical School, Aristotle University Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, 54124 Greece. E-mail: zik{at}


Introduction: When apoptosis is disrupted, the transformed cells can survive, proliferate, and evolve into a malignancy. The strictly conserved caspase genes and the reliable experimental data clearly show that some caspases play a crucial role in apoptosis even if some of them have no apoptotic activity and others exhibit both apoptotic and nonapoptotic properties. Although caspase-2 belongs to initiator caspases, its normal role remains unclear. Experimental studies have shown that it is primarily necessary for the execution of apoptosis in mutagenic cells. Human caspase-5 is classified as an inflammatory caspase, although its substrate has not been identified yet. In this research, the activities of caspase-2 and caspase-5 have been estimated during the progression of human cervical malignancy.

Methods: The experimental material includes human cervical tissue samples (normal and pathological) and blood serum samples of the corresponding tissue donors, where enzyme activities have been measured colorimetrically.

Results: Both caspases' activities showed the highest increase, statistically significant (P < 0.01, by t test) compared with the controls, in the low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion tissues. Caspase-2 of all pathological tissues was proved more active than the controls. Serum caspases' activities were significantly lower than those of the tissues. Serum caspase-2's activity in patients with low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion stage showed no statistically significant increase compared with the controls. Serum caspase-5's activity of all patients with malignancy stages was presented elevated, whereas that of the serum of patients with cervical cancer had the highest activity (P < 0.01, by t test).

Conclusions: The changes of caspase-2 and caspase-5 activities could be indicative of their involvement in the cervical malignancy mechanisms.

  • Caspase-2
  • Caspase-5
  • Cervical malignancy

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