Cystatin-A is the intracellular inhibitor of cysteine proteinase cathepsin B (CatB) and belongs to family 1 of the cystatin superfamily of inhibitor proteins. CSTA is a stefin that functions as a cysteine protease inhibitor, forming tight complexes with papain and the cathepsins B, H, and L. It has been proposed that extracellular CatB together with other classes of proteinases are all subjected to a cascade-like manner of activation. CatB and its inhibitor Cystatin-A are involved in degradation of extracellular matrix proteins during tissue remodeling. CSTA is one of the precursor proteins of cornified cell envelope in keratinocytes and plays a role in epidermal development and maintenance. Cystatin-A has been reported to be found in high concentrations in epithelial cells, polymorphonuclear leukocytes and lymphoid tissue. Stefins may be used as prognostic and diagnostic tools for cancer.