The cellular physiology of glandular kallikrein

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Abstract

In this review a broad overview has been presented of glandular kallikrein - its molecular biology, tissue distribution and potential physiology. The new techniques of recombinant DNA technology have offered new insights into the characterization of kallikrein, or more accurately, the kallikreins. Further characterization of their genomic structure and tissue-specific sequence identity should provide insights into the regulation of their expression. This is of particular interest in the light of their regulation by androgens in the submaxillary gland and prostate, regulation by estrogens in the anterior pituitary, and possible regulation by mineralocorticoids in the kidney. Though much of the literature describes a kallikrein-kinin system, it is by no means clear that the substrate for kallikrein in any or all of the tissues is kininogen, with the consequent generation of kinins. Elucidation of the relevant substrate in a given tissue is of major importance, as it is from a knowledge of the substrate that the resultant biologically active peptide (and hence the physiology) may be established. The potential role of the kallikreins in the pathogenesis of conditions which include cystic fibrosis, hypertension, peptic ulceration and infertility provides a further stimulus to the elucidation of their physiology and pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-964
Number of pages12
JournalKidney International
Volume29
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

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