Proteins governing cell death form the basis of many normal processes and contribute to the pathogenesis of many diseases when dysregulated. Here we report the cloning of a novel human CED-4-like gene, CLAN, and several of its alternatively spliced isoforms. These caspase-associated recruitment domain (CARD)-containing proteins are expressed at varying degrees in normal human tissues and may contribute to a number of intracellular processes including apoptosis, cytokine processing, and NF-kappa B activation. The CARD of the CLAN proteins binds a number of other CARD-containing proteins including caspase-1, BCL10, NOD2, and NAC. Once their physiologic functions are uncovered, CLAN proteins may prove to be valuable therapeutic targets.
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