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Any of various enzymes found in animal tissue that catalyze the hydrolysis of proteins into smaller proteins.

[German Kathepsin, from Greek kathepsein, to digest : kat-, kata-, cata- + hepsein, to boil.]


(Biochemistry) a proteolytic enzyme responsible for the autolysis of cells after death
[C20: from Greek kathepsein to boil down, soften]


(kəˈθɛp sɪn)

any of a class of intracellular enzymes that break down protein in certain abnormal conditions and after death.
[1925–30; < Greek kathéps(ein) to digest]
ca•thep′tic (-tɪk) adj.
References in periodicals archive ?
Of lysosomal proteases only cathepsin H (+18%) and D (-26%) were affected in surviving flies while in dead flies cathepsin B and L were additionally affected.
Of lysosomal proteases, cyfluthrin affected only two cathepsins viz cathepsin H and cathepsin D in surviving adult flies, while the remaining lysosomal proteases including soluble protein showed minor fluctuations when compared with their corresponding controls.
Hence capthesin B and soluble proteins manifested elevated activities by 14% and 32%, respectively while dipeptidyl aminopeptidase I, dipeptidyl aminopeptidase II, cathepsin L, cathepsin H and cathepsin D were depleted by 27%, 21%, 66%, 44% and 39%, respectively.