Definition of cathepsin
: any of several intracellular proteases of animal tissue that aid in autolysis
Origin of cathepsin
Greek kathepsein to digest (from kata- cata- + hepsein to boil) + English 2-in
First Known Use: 1929
Medical Definition of cathepsin
: any of a class of proteases present in most animal tissues (as in kidney, liver, and spleen) that catalyze the hydrolysis of proteins to polypeptides <Cathepsins are lysosomal proteases that cleave their substrates with relatively low specificity.—Arthur M. Krieg et al., Science, 1 Feb. 2008> <Recent investigations by several research groups, working with organisms as diverse as worms and monkeys, implicate cathepsins flooding the cytoplasm as a major cause of necrotic cell death.—Nektarios Tavernarakis, New Scientist, 15 Feb. 2003>
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Medical Dictionary: Definition of "cathepsin"
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