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Biochem Soc Trans. 2011 Oct;39(5):1441-6. doi: 10.1042/BST0391441.

SLPI and trappin-2 as therapeutic agents to target airway serine proteases in inflammatory lung diseases: current and future directions.

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  • 1INSERM U618, Protéases et Vectorisation Pulmonaires, Faculté de Médecine, 10 Bd Tonnellé, 37032 Tours Cedex, France.


It is now clear that NSPs (neutrophil serine proteases), including elastase, Pr3 (proteinase 3) and CatG (cathepsin G) are major pathogenic determinants in chronic inflammatory disorders of the lungs. Two unglycosylated natural protease inhibitors, SLPI (secretory leucocyte protease inhibitor) and elafin, and its precursor trappin-2 that are found in the lungs, have therapeutic potential for reducing the protease-induced inflammatory response. This review examines the multifaceted roles of SLPI and elafin/trappin-2 in the context of their possible use as inhaled drugs for treating chronic lung diseases such as CF (cystic fibrosis) and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

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