, Volume 63, Issue 24, pp 3018-3029
Date: 31 Oct 2006

Chitotriosidase: the yin and yang

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The enzyme chitotriosidase (ChT), the human analogue of chitinases from non-vertebrate species, is one of the most abundant and indicative proteins secreted by activated macrophages. Its enzymatic activity is elevated in serum of patients suffering from Gaucher’s disease type 1 and in some other inherited lysosomal storage disorders, as well as in diseases in which macrophages are activated. The last decade has witnessed the appearance of a substantial number of studies attempting to unravel its cellular functions, which have yet not been fully defined. A great deal of progress has been made in the study of the physiological roles of ChT. This review is looks at the key areas of investigations addressed to further illuminate whether ChT activation might have different functional meanings in various diseases.

Received 7 June 2006; received after revision 24 July 2006; accepted 21 September 2006