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Cathepsin F (CTSF) is a recently described papain-like cysteine protease and unique among cathepsins due to an elongated N-terminal pro-region, which contains a cystatin domain. CTSF likely plays a regulatory role in processing the invariant chain which is associated with the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II. In this regard, we identified the CTSF gene of turbot as well as its protein structure, phylogenetic relationships, and expression patterns in mucosal tissues following Vibrio anguillarum and Streptococcus iniae challenge. We also determined the expression patterns of CTSF in mucosal tissues after vaccinated with the formalin-inactivated V. vulnificus whole-cell vaccine. Briefly, turbot CTSF gene showed the closest relationship with that of Paralichthys olivaceus in phylogenetic analysis. And CTSF was ubiquitously expressed in all tested tissues with the highest expression level in gill. In addition, CTSF gene showed different expression patterns following different bacterial challenge. The significant quick regulation of CTSF in mucosal surfaces against infection indicated its roles in mucosal immunity. Functional studies should further characterize avail utilization of CTSF function to increase the disease resistance of turbot in maintaining the integrity of the mucosal barriers against infection and to facilitate selection of the disease resistant family/strain in turbot.CTSF is homologous to their counterparts in other vertebrates.CTSF was ubiquitously expressed in turbot tissues.CTSF gene showed different expression patterns following different bacterial challenge and vaccination.