Cathepsin D is a lysosomal aspartic protease of the pepsin family. Human Cathepsin D is synthesized as a precursor protein, consisting of a signal peptide (residues 1 18), a propeptide (residues 19 64), and a mature chain (residues 65 412). The mature chain can be processed further to the light (residues 65 161) and heavy (residues 169 412) chains.
It is an estrogen-regulated lysosomal protease that has been suggested to facilitate cancer cell migration and invasion by digesting the basement membrane, extracellular matrix, and xonnective tissue. Because of its mitogenic and proteolytic activities, it has been implicated as a prognostic marker in many tumor types. It could also play a role in Alzheimer's Disease
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