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Background: SENP5 is a protease that catalyzes two essential functions in the SUMO pathway: processing of full-length SUMO3 to its conjugatable mature form and deconjugation of SUMO2 and SUMO3 from targeted substrates. This protein has weak proteolytic activity against full-length SUMO1 or SUMO1 conjugates. SENP5 is required for cell division.