Send to

Choose Destination
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2000;477:281-6.

Cathepsin K expression in human lung.

Author information

Inst. of Immunology, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany.


Tissue remodeling is crucial in different lung diseases, in the embryonal development as well as in bronchial carcinoma. Cathepsins were proposed to be involved in the degradation of matrix proteins. Cathepsin K is one of the most potent matrix-degrading cysteine proteinases known as yet. The elastinolytic and collagenolytic activity of this papain-like protease is comparable with that of neutrophil elastase. We have investigated the cathepsin K expression in normal adult lung tissues, in embryonal lung tissue and in bronchial carcinoma. With help of specific anti-cathepsin K antibodies it could be shown that cathepsin K was expressed in bronchial epithelial cells. These data could be confirmed at mRNA level using a quantitative RT-PCR as well as by visualisation of the specific enzymatic activity in epithelial cell lines. During the embryonal development cathepsin K was expressed in the epithelial cells of the developing bronchi. The expression seemed to be upregulated in parallel with the development of the bronchial and alveolar lumen. In the later phase of lung development the cathepsin K expression was restricted to bronchial epithelial cells. Furthermore, using quantitative RT-PCR it could be shown that cathepsin K-mRNA was upregulated in lung tumor tissues in comparison to normal tissues from the same patients. These data suggest that cathepsin K may play an important role in matrix remodeling of the lung under physiological and pathological conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center