Estrogen-dependent expression of the tissue kallikrein gene (Klk1) in the mouse uterus and its implications for endometrial tissue growth

Sanath Rajapakse, Noriko Yamano, Katsueki Ogiwara, Kensaku Hirata, Sumio Takahashi, Takayuki Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Tissue kallikrein mK1 is a serine protease involved in the generation of bioactive kinins for normal cardiac and arterial function in the mouse. In the present study, the tissue kallikrein gene Klk1, which codes for mK1, was shown to be one of the most prevalent of the Klk gene species in the uteri of adult mice, and its mRNA level was significantly higher at estrus than at diestrus. Klk1 mRNA expression was enhanced in the uteri of ovariectomized mice receiving estradiol-17β treatment. Both endometrial epithelial and stromal cells isolated from the mice exhibited Klk1 expression at detectable levels when cultured in the presence of estradiol-17β. mK1 was characterized using the recombinant active enzyme. mK1 had trypsin-like activity with a strong preference for Arg over Lys in the P1 position, and its activity was inhibited by typical serine protease inhibitors. Casein, gelatin, fibronectin, collagen type IV, and high-molecular-weight kininogen were degraded by mK1. The single-chain tissue-type plasminogen activator was converted to the two-chain form by mK1. In addition, mK1 degraded insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3. The present data suggest that mK1 may be implicated in the growth of uterine endometrial tissues during the proliferative phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1063
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2007


  • Extracellular matrix
  • Mouse
  • Tissue kallikrein
  • Uterus
  • tPA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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