Search for cancer treatment continues: Procathepsin D
Vaclav Vetvicka and Aruna Vashishta
World Journal of Pathology 2012, 1:14
Cathepsin D (CD) has been identified as an aspartic protease involved in protein degradation in the acidic environment of the lysosome, but studies done over the years showed its involvement in other processes like apoptosis, antigen processing, tissue homeostasis suggesting that the enzymatic activity of CD is confined not only to lysosome. Moreover, the enzymatically inactive form of CD, procathepsin D (pCD), has also been shown to be involved in processes like apoptosis and neoplastic growth. Numerous studies done over the past two decades have shown that cancerous cells secrete pCD which acts as a mitogen for both cancerous cells as well as stomal cells by contributing to the processes like angiogenesis, invasion, metastasis and proliferation. In this review, we will discuss the about various forms of CD and their role in different physiological and pathological conditions of cells.