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

A. I. Petushkova1, L. V. Savvateeva1, D. O. Korolev2, and A. A. Zamyatnin, Jr.1,3,a*

1Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Institute of Molecular Medicine, 119991 Moscow, Russia

2Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Institute of Uronephrology and Human Reproductive Health, 119991 Moscow, Russia

3Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119992 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received March 28, 2019; Revised April 18, 2019; Accepted April 19, 2019
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.
KEY WORDS: cysteine cathepsins, carcinogenesis, antitumor therapy, targeted drug delivery, proteolysis, diagnostics

DOI: 10.1134/S000629791907006X