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Annu Rev Physiol. 2011;73:479-501. doi: 10.1146/annurev-physiol-012110-142250.

Role of chitin and chitinase/chitinase-like proteins in inflammation, tissue remodeling, and injury.

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  • 1Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8057, USA.

Abstract

The 18 glycosyl hydrolase family of chitinases is an ancient gene family that is widely expressed from prokaryotes to eukaryotes. In mammals, despite the absence of endogenous chitin, a number of chitinases and chitinase-like proteins (C/CLPs) have been identified. However, their roles have only recently begun to be elucidated. Acidic mammalian chitinase (AMCase) inhibits chitin-induced innate inflammation; augments chitin-free, allergen-induced Th2 inflammation; and mediates effector functions of IL-13. The CLPs BRP-39/YKL-40 (also termed chitinase 3-like 1) inhibit oxidant-induced lung injury, augments adaptive Th2 immunity, regulates apoptosis, stimulates alternative macrophage activation, and contributes to fibrosis and wound healing. In accord with these findings, levels of YKL-40 in the lung and serum are increased in asthma and other inflammatory and remodeling disorders and often correlate with disease severity. Our understanding of the roles of C/CLPs in inflammation, tissue remodeling, and tissue injury in health and disease is reviewed below.

PMID:
21054166
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3864643
Free PMC Article
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