Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Academic Editor: Catherine Brenner
Initiator caspases are activated within specialized complexes, one of which is the apoptosome. The apoptosome is always constituted by at least an initiator caspase and a caspase activator. Apoptosome activation enables maturation of the associated caspase and constitutes a key step for cell fate. This activating complex is found throughout metazoans but its composition and regulation seem slightly different from one species to another. This review focuses on the composition and activation of the apoptosome in different species and details the role of mitochondrial factors and Bcl-2 family members in this activation.