Pan-Caspase inhibitor - Z-VAD-FMK

Z-VAD-FMK Unit size Cat. code Docs Qty Price
Caspase inhibitor
1 mg

Caspase-1 inhibitor

Inhibition of caspase signaling by Z-VAD-FMK
Inhibition of caspase signaling by Z-VAD-FMK

Z-VAD-FMK is a cell-permeable pan-caspase inhibitor [1]. It potently inhibits human caspase-1 to -10 with the exception of caspase-2 [2]. It also inhibits murine caspases, notably caspase-1, caspase-3, and caspase-11, the ortholog of human caspase-4 and -5 [3, 4].


The caspase enzymes are a family of cytosolic proteases involved in the regulation of inflammation and cell death. They can be divided into inflammatory caspases (such as caspases-1, -4, -5, and -12 in humans and caspases-1, -11, and -12 in mice) and apoptotic caspases (such as caspases-2, -3, -6, -7, -8, -9, and -10) [5].

Of note, caspase-1 plays a crucial role in the control of inflammation. Its activity is regulated by a multi-protein complex known as the inflammasome, inflammasome activation drives oligomerization and self-activation of caspase-1. Upon activation, caspase-1 processes the inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18, and Gasdermin-D, promoting inflammation and pyroptosis, a form of cell death.


Z-VAD-FMK inhibits caspases by irreversibly binding to their catalytic site [1]. By inhibiting the activity of multiple caspases, Z-VAD-FMK can block many different biological processes including inflammasome activation and the induction of apoptosis leading to increased cell survival in many different cell types [2-6]. Interestingly, It has been shown that Z-VAD‑FMK administration can significantly reduce inflammation and lethality in an experimental model of endotoxic shock [4]. To conclude, this broad-spectrum inhibitor is a useful tool for studying the role of caspases in inflammation and cell death.


  • Broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor
  • Potent inhibitor of caspase-dependent inflammasomes
  • Blocks the induction of apoptosis
  • Each lot is highly pure (≥95%) and functionally tested


Read our review on the NLRP3 inflammasome.



1. Slee EA. et al., 1996. Benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp (OMe) fluoromethylketone (Z-VAD.FMK) inhibits apoptosis by blocking the processing of CPP32. Biochem J. 315 ( Pt 1):21-4.
2. Chauvier D. et al., 2007. Broad-spectrum caspase inhibitors: from myth to reality? Cell Death Differ. 14:387-91.
3. Guey B. et al., 2014. Caspase-1 autoproteolysis is differentially required for NLRP1b and NLRP3 inflammasome function. PNAS 11(48):17254-9.
4. Py B.F. et al., 2014. Caspase-11 controls interleukin-1β release through degradation of TRPC1. Cell Rep. 6: 1122–8.
5. Shalini M. et al., 2015. Old, new and emerging functions of caspases. Cell Death Differ. 22:526-39.
6. Dostert C. et al., 2009. Malarial hemozoin is a Nalp3 inflammasome activating danger signal. PLoS One. 4(8):e6510.
7. Li X. et al., 2019. The caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK alleviates endotoxic shock via inducing macrophages necroptosis and promoting MDSCs-mediated inhibition of macrophages activation. Front Immunol. 10:1824.


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Working concentration: 10 μg/ml (20 μM)

Synonym: Carbobenzoxy-valyl-alanyl-aspartyl-[O- methyl]- fluoromethylketone

Solubility: Soluble in DMSO (10 mg/ml)

Molecular weight: 467.5 g/mol

Quality control:

  • Purity: ≥95% (UHPLC)
  • The inhibitory activity of the product has been validated in inflammasome cellular assays using THP1-Null2 and HEK-Blue™ IL-1β cells.
  • The absence of bacterial contamination (e.g. lipoproteins and endotoxins) has been confirmed using HEK-Blue™ TLR2 and HEK-Blue™ TLR4 cells.
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  • 1 mg of Z-VAD-FMK (provided as a translucent film)

Z-VAD-FMK is shipped at room temperature.

 Upon receipt, store at -20°C.

Resuspended product is stable for at least 6 months when properly stored.

Alert Avoid repeated freeze-thaw cycles.

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Chemical structure of Z-VAD-FMK: 

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