The emerging role of dipeptidyl peptidase 3 in pathophysiology

Grazia Malovan, Bettina Hierzberger, Samuele Suraci, Maximilian Schaefer, Karine Santos, Shalinee Jha, Peter Macheroux*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Dipeptidyl peptidase 3 (DPP3), a zinc-dependent aminopeptidase, is a highly conserved enzyme among higher animals. The enzyme cleaves dipeptides from the N-terminus of tetra- to decapeptides, thereby taking part in activation as well as degradation of signalling peptides critical in physiological and pathological processes such as blood pressure regulation, nociception, inflammation and cancer. Besides its catalytic activity, DPP3 moonlights as a regulator of the cellular oxidative stress response pathway, e.g., the Keap1-Nrf2 mediated antioxidative response. The enzyme is also recognized as a key modulator of the renin-angiotensin system. Recently, DPP3 has been attracting growing attention within the scientific community, which has significantly augmented our knowledge of its physiological relevance. Herein, we review recent advances in our understanding of the structure and catalytic activity of DPP3, with a focus on attributing its molecular architecture and catalytic mechanism to its wide-ranging biological functions. We further highlight recent intriguing reports that implicate a broader role for DPP3 as a valuable biomarker in cardiovascular and renal pathologies and furthermore discuss its potential as a promising drug target.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFEBS Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • bioactive peptides
  • cancer
  • dipeptidyl peptidase 3 (DPP3)
  • Keap1-Nrf2 pathway
  • metalloprotease
  • oxidative stress
  • renin angiotensin system (RAS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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