Chondroitin sulfatases are a group of enzymes that break down chondroitin sulfate, which is a type of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) found in connective tissues such as cartilage, bone, and skin. Glycosaminoglycans are long, complex chains of sugars that help provide structure, hydration, and elasticity to these tissues.

Chondroitin sulfate is composed of alternating units of glucuronic acid and N-acetylgalactosamine, with various sulfate groups attached at different positions along the chain. Chondroitin sulfatases cleave specific bonds within this structure to help regulate the turnover and remodeling of GAGs in tissues.

There are several types of chondroitin sulfatases (designated as chondroitin sulfatase A, B, C, D, etc.), each with distinct substrate specificities and cellular localizations. Defects in these enzymes can lead to various genetic disorders, such as skeletal dysplasias and neurodegenerative diseases, due to the accumulation of unprocessed or partially degraded chondroitin sulfate in tissues.