Cathepsin D

Immunohistochemical expression

Cathepsin D is a lysosomal protease present in many tissues.

Cathepsin D is constitutively expressed in oestrogen-receptor negative breast carcinomas and is induced by oestrogen in oestrogen-receptor positive breast carcinomas.

Diagnostic utility

The prognostic significance in breast carcinoma is uncertain. Expression appears to be associated with a reduced survival when cytosol preparations are assayed but a longer survival in oestrogen-receptor positive carcinomas by immunohistochemistry.


Battifora H. Immunohistochemistry in tumour prognosis. In Immunohistochemistry Long Course, Nice, October 18-23, 1998.