Involved in the activation cascade of caspases responsible for apoptosis execution. Cleaves and activates sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs). Proteolytically cleaves poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) at a '216-Asp- -Gly-217' bond. Overexpression promotes programmed cell death.
Highly expressed in lung, skeletal muscle, liver, kidney, spleen and heart, and moderately in testis. No expression in the brain.
Belongs to the peptidase C14A family.
Cleavages by granzyme B or caspase-10 generate the two active subunits. Propeptide domains can also be cleaved efficiently by caspase-3. Active heterodimers between the small subunit of caspase-7 and the large subunit of caspase-3, and vice versa, also occur.