Send to

Choose Destination
Biochimie. 2008 Feb;90(2):284-95. Epub 2007 Sep 22.

Multifaceted roles of human elafin and secretory leukocyte proteinase inhibitor (SLPI), two serine protease inhibitors of the chelonianin family.

Author information

INSERM U618 Protéases et Vectorisation Pulmonaires, IFR 135 Imagerie fonctionnelle, Université François Rabelais, Tours, France.


Elafin and SLPI are low-molecular weight proteins that were first identified as protease inhibitors in mucous fluids including lung secretions, where they help control excessive proteolysis due to neutrophil serine proteases (elastase, proteinase 3 and cathepsin G). Elafin and SLPI are structurally related in that both have a fold with a four-disulfide core or whey acidic protein (WAP) domain responsible for inhibiting proteases. Elafin is derived from a precursor, trappin-2 or pre-elafin, by proteolysis. Trappin-2, which is itself a protease inhibitor, has a unique N-terminal domain that enables it to become cross-linked to extracellular matrix proteins by transglutaminase(s). SLPI and elafin/trappin-2 are attractive candidates as therapeutic molecules for inhibiting neutrophil serine proteases in inflammatory lung diseases. Hence, they have become the WAP proteins most studied over the last decade. This review focuses on recent findings revealing that SLPI and elafin/trappin-2 have many biological functions as diverse as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and immuno-modulatory functions, in addition to their well-recognized role as protease inhibitors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center