ca·​thep·​sin | \ kə-ˈthep-sən How to pronounce cathepsin (audio) \

Definition of cathepsin

: any of several intracellular proteases of animal tissue that aid in autolysis

Examples of cathepsin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Fortunately, Gerwick had encountered cathepsin inhibitors before. Stephanie Stone, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cathepsin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cathepsin

1929, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cathepsin

Greek kathepsein to digest (from kata- cata- + hepsein to boil) + English -in entry 2

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The first known use of cathepsin was in 1929

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Cite this Entry

“Cathepsin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for cathepsin


ca·​thep·​sin | \ kə-ˈthep-sən How to pronounce cathepsin (audio) \

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

Other Words from cathepsin

catheptic \ -​tik How to pronounce cathepsin (audio) \ adjective
catheptic enzymes catheptic activity


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