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WAP domain proteins as modulators of mucosal immunity

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John SimpsonORCiD


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WAP (whey acidic protein) is an important whey protein present in milk of mammals. This protein has characteristic domains, rich in cysteine residues, called 4-DSC (four-disulfide core domain). Other proteins, mainly present at mucosal surfaces, have been shown to also possess these characteristic WAP-4-DSC domains. The present review will focus on two WAP-4-DSC containing proteins, namely SIPI (secretory leucocyte protease inhibitor) and trappin-2/elafin. Although first described as antiproteases able to inhibit in particular host neutrophil proteases [NE (neutrophil elastase), cathepsin-G and proteinase-3] and as such, able to limit maladaptive tissue damage during inflammation, it has become apparent that these molecules have a variety of other functions (direct antimicrobial activity, bacterial opsonization, induction of adaptive immune responses, promotion of tissue repair, etc.). After providing information about the 'classical' antiproteasic role of these molecules, we will discuss the evidence pertaining to their pleiotropic functions in inflammation and immunity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wilkinson TS, Roghanian A, Simpson AJ, Sallenave JM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biochemical Society Transactions

Year: 2011

Volume: 39

Pages: 1409-1415

Print publication date: 01/10/2011

ISSN (print): 0300-5127

ISSN (electronic): 1470-8752

Publisher: Portland Press Ltd.


DOI: 10.1042/BST0391409


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