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Caspase-6 is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the CASP6 gene. CASP6 orthologs have been identified in numerous mammals for which complete genome data are available. Unique orthologs are also present in birds, lizards, lissamphibians, and teleosts. Caspase-6 has known functions in apoptosis, early immune response and neurodegeneration in Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease. A zymogen also called a proenzyme is an inactive precursor of an enzyme. A zymogen requires a biochemical change (such as a hydrolysis reaction revealing the active site, or changing the configuration to reveal the active site) for it to become an active enzyme. The biochemical change usually occurs in Golgi bodies, where a specific part of the precursor enzyme is cleaved in order to activate it. The inactivating piece which is cleaved off can be a peptide unit, or can be independently folding domains comprising more than 100 residues. Although they limit the enzyme's ability, these n-terminal extensions of the enzyme or a “prosegment” often aid in the stabilizing and folding of the enzyme they inhibit.