Biochemistry (Moscow)

, Volume 84, Issue 7, pp 746–761 | Cite as

Cysteine Cathepsins: Potential Applications in Diagnostics and Therapy of Malignant Tumors

  • A. I. Petushkova
  • L. V. Savvateeva
  • D. O. Korolev
  • A. A. ZamyatninJr.Email author


Cysteine cathepsins are proteolytic enzymes involved in protein degradation in lysosomes and endosomes. Cysteine cathepsins have been also found in the tumor microenvironment during carcinogenesis, where they are implicated in proliferation, invasion and metastasis of tumor cells through the degradation of extracellular matrix, suppression of cell–cell interactions, and promotion of angiogenesis. In this regard, cathepsins can have a diagnostic value and represent promising targets for antitumor drugs aimed at inhibition of these proteases. Moreover, cysteine cathepsins can be used as activators of novel targeted therapeutic agents. This review summarizes recent discovered roles of cysteine cathepsins in carcinogenesis and discusses new trends in cancer therapy and diagnostics using cysteine cathepsins as markers, targets, or activators.


cysteine cathepsins carcinogenesis antitumor therapy targeted drug delivery proteolysis diagnostics 



antibody–drug conjugate


antigen-presenting cell


dendritic cell


extracellular matrix


Förster resonance energy transfer


indocyanine green


major histocompatibility complex


monomethyl auristatin E


matrix metalloproteinase


cell, natural killer cell


poly-γ-glutamic acid


tumor-associated macrophage


vascular endothelial growth factor


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. I. Petushkova
    • 1
  • L. V. Savvateeva
    • 1
  • D. O. Korolev
    • 2
  • A. A. ZamyatninJr.
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Molecular MedicineSechenov First Moscow State Medical UniversityMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Uronephrology and Human Reproductive HealthSechenov First Moscow State Medical UniversityMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical BiologyLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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