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Exp Hematol. 2006 Aug;34(8):1021-32.

Chemoattractants, extracellular proteases, and the integrated host defense response.

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Laboratory of Immunology and Vascular Biology, Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.


The host response to tissue injury and/or infection is dependent on the action of numerous extracellular proteases. Proteolytic cascades trigger blood clotting, fibrinolysis, and complement activation, while proteases released upon leukocyte degranulation are integral to the processes of inflammation and immunity. Modulation of effector protein activity by proteases provides a critical layer of posttranslational control that enables rapid enzymatic regulation of target proteins. This report reviews the emerging literature describing a novel class of proteolytic targets, leukocyte chemoattractants, and, in particular, chemerin, a dendritic cell and macrophage chemoattractant activated by serine proteases of the coagulation, fibrinolytic, and inflammatory cascades. As chemoattractants are critical for both systemic leukocyte positioning by triggering integrin activation and subsequent recruitment from circulation, and local intratissue leukocyte positioning via chemotaxis, modulation of attractant activities by proteases may have profound effects on the immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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