The role of cathepsins in osteoimmunology

Peter Pietschmann*, Ursula Föger-Samwald, Wolfgang Sipos, Martina Rauner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Review article

12 Citations (Scopus)


Cathepsins are proteases comprising two small groups of serine and aspartic cathepsins and a large group of lysosomal cysteine cathepsins. Most of them are ubiquitously expressed throughout human tissues but some of them display a more restricted expression pattern and are involved in explicit tasks such as collagen degradation in the process of bone and cartilage destruction or degradation of invariant chain peptides in the process of antigen processing and presentation. In addition to the aforementioned functions, cathepsins have been shown to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of osteoimmunological diseases involving mutual interactions between skeletal and immunological functions. The most convincing evidence that cathepsins participate in the pathogenesis of osteoimmunological disorders exists for cathepsins K and S. Therefore, this review focuses on recent advances in understanding the role of cathepsins K and S in osteoimmunology and highlights the progress that has been made in targeting cathepsins to treat diseases related to the skeletal or immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-26
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Reviews in Eukaryotic Gene Expression
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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