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A simple question (I could not find it on internet): What is Pan for in pan-caspase? Is it any different from the term 'caspase' ?

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can you tell the context of that phrase? If in case of inhibitor it could mean that it inhibits all caspases. Similarly with antibodies: a pan-caspase antibody would bind to all caspases. –  WYSIWYG Jun 12 at 9:11
    
there is no specific context but i now realized that it is usually used as pan-caspase inhibitor in the articles i was looking at. just to be sure: can we then say that pan is the opposite of specific? –  user1445 Jun 13 at 12:20
    
yes you can say that.. but we generally use the term "caspase-x inhibitor", where x is that specific caspase –  WYSIWYG Jun 13 at 14:54
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The term pan, in my opinion, is perhaps one of the most vague that exists in science! I can partley answer this question (ironically as vague as the term pan) by referring you to the term pan-neuronal. A pan neuronally expressed genes has features, which include the expression of many "generic" genes required non-specifically for neuronal function, such as components of the synaptic vesicle machinery, so pan-neuronal genes are not neurone class specific (http://www.wormbook.org/chapters/www_specnervsys/specnervsys.html). So with that token pan-caspases are a term referring to a general caspase activity/function/structure and not a specific caspase type activity but I would welcome any corrections or edits to this response.

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