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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cathepsin A/protective protein: an unusual lysosomal multifunctional protein.

Cathepsin A/protective protein [], carboxypeptidase A, is a lysosomal serine protease with structural homology to yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) carboxypeptidase Y. Cathepsin A is a member of the alpha/beta hydrolase fold family and has been suggested to share a common ancestral relationship with other alpha/beta hydrolase fold enzymes, such as cholinesterases. Several lines of evidence indicate that cathepsin A is a multicatalytic enzyme with deamidase and esterase in addition to carboxypeptidase activities. Cathepsin A was recently identified in human platelets as deamidase. In vitro, it hydrolyzes a variety of bioactive peptide hormones including tachykinins, suggesting that extralysosomal cathepsin A plays a role in regulation of bioactive peptide functions. Recent reports emphasize the lysosomal protective function of cathepsin A rather than its protease function. The protective function of cathepsin A is distinct from its catalytic function. Human lysosomal beta-galactosidase and neuraminidase exist as a high molecular weight enzyme complex, in which there is a 54-kDa glycoprotein termed 'lysosomal protective protein'. Based on cell culture studies, protective protein was found to protect both beta-galactosidase and neuraminidase from intralysosomal proteolysis by forming a multienzyme complex and was shown to be deficient in patients with galactosialidosis, a combined deficiency of beta-galactosidase and neuraminidase. Molecular cloning and gene expression studies have disclosed that protective protein is cathepsin A. The cathepsin A precursor has the potential to restore both beta-galactosidase and neuraminidase activities in fibroblasts from patients with galactosialidosis. Cathepsin A knockout mice showed a phenotype similar to human galactosialidosis and the deficient phenotype found in the mutant mice was corrected by transplanting erythroid precursor cells overexpressing cathepsin A. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the significance of cathepsin A as a key molecule in the onset of galactosialidosis and also highlight the therapeutic potential of the cathepsin A precursor for patients with galactosialidosis.[1]


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