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Cathepsins are endolysosomal proteases that can be categorized into different types based on their structures and active-site amino acid residue, including cysteine (cathepsins B, C, F, H, K, L, O, S, V, W, and X), serine (cathepsins A and G), and aspartic (cathepsins D and E). Cathepsins can regulate diverse cellular activities such as the processing and presentation of antigens, the processing and activation of hormones, apoptosis, aging, and autophagy. Recently, cathepsin B has gained attention for its role in various neurological diseases including ischemic stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and traumatic brain injury. This chapter mainly focuses on the role of cathepsin B in brain ischemia-reperfusion injury in animal models of stroke.
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