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Exp Lung Res. 2002 Mar;28(2):85-97.

Secretory leukocyte proteinase inhibitor and elafin are resistant to degradation by MMP-8.

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Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, University College Dublin, Ireland.


The naturally occurring neutrophil elastase inhibitors, alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (alpha1PI), secretory leukocyte proteinase inhibitor (SLPI), and elafin, are potential therapeutic agents in the treatment of neutrophil-mediated lung disease. However alpha1PI has been shown to be susceptible to inactivation by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) released by neutrophils, particularly neutrophil collagenase (MMP-8). The aim of this study was to determine if SLPI and elafin are similarly susceptible to degradation by this neutrophil-specific MMP. The effect of MMP-8 on SLPI and elafin was assessed by determining the neutrophil elastase inhibitory capacity (NEIC) and electrophoretic protein profile of both inhibitors following exposure to purified MMP-8. As a positive control, the effect of MMP-8 alpha1PI was assessed in parallel. Although treatment of alpha1PI with MMP-8 resulted in a significant decrease in its NEIC (P = .025), no similar decrease was observed with SLPI or elatin. Electrophoretic analysis confirmed digestion of alpha1PI by MMP-8 but no digestion of either SLPI or elafin was observed. These results demonstrate that SLPI and elafin are resistant to proteolytic inactivation by MMP-8, a property that may enhance their therapeutic application in neutrophil-mediated inflammatory lung disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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