Multifaceted analyses of epidermal serine protease activity in patients with atopic dermatitis

Hayato Nomura, Mutsumi Suganuma, Takuya Takeichi, Michihiro Kono, Yuki Isokane, Ko Sunagawa, Mina Kobashi, Satoru Sugihara, Ai Kajita, Tomoko Miyake, Yoji Hirai, Osamu Yamasaki, Masashi Akiyama, Shin Morizane

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The serine proteases kallikrein-related peptidase (KLK) 5 and KLK7 cleave cell adhesion molecules in the epidermis. Aberrant epidermal serine protease activity is thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD). We collected the stratum corneum (SC) from healthy individuals (n = 46) and AD patients (n = 63) by tape stripping and then measuring the trypsin-and chymotrypsin-like serine protease activity. We also analyzed the p.D386N and p.E420K of SPINK5 variants and loss-of-function mutations of FLG in the AD patients. The serine protease activity in the SC was increased not only in AD lesions but also in non-lesions of AD patients. We found, generally, that there was a positive correlation between the serine protease activity in the SC and the total serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels, serum thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) levels, and peripheral blood eosinophil counts. Moreover, the p.D386N or p.E420K in SPINK5 and FLG mutations were not significantly associated with the SC's serine protease activity. Epidermal serine protease activity was increased even in non-lesions of AD patients. Such activity was found to correlate with a number of biomarkers of AD. Further investigations of serine proteases might provide new treatments and prophylaxis for AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number913
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Epidermal barrier dysfunction
  • Filaggrin
  • Kallikrein-related peptidases
  • Lympho-epithelial Kazal-type-related inhibitor (LEKTI)
  • SPINK5
  • Serine proteases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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