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Biol Chem. 2008 Jun;389(6):739-45. doi: 10.1515/BC.2008.085.

Kallikreins are associated with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and promote neurodegeneration.

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Program for Molecular Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Tissue kallikrein KLK1 and the kallikrein-related peptidases KLK2-15 are a subfamily of serine proteases that have defined or proposed roles in a range of central nervous system (CNS) and non-CNS pathologies. To further understand their potential activity in multiple sclerosis (MS), serum levels of KLK1, 6, 7, 8 and 10 were determined in 35 MS patients and 62 controls by quantitative fluorometric ELISA. Serum levels were then correlated with Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores determined at the time of serological sampling or at last clinical follow-up. Serum levels of KLK1 and KLK6 were elevated in MS patients (p<or=0.027), with highest levels associated with secondary progressive disease. Elevated KLK1 correlated with higher EDSS scores at the time of serum draw and KLK6 with future EDSS worsening in relapsing remitting patients (p<or=0.007). Supporting the concept that KLK1 and KLK6 promote degenerative events associated with progressive MS, exposure of murine cortical neurons to either kallikrein promoted rapid neurite retraction and neuron loss. These novel findings suggest that KLK1 and KLK6 may serve as serological markers of progressive MS and contribute directly to the development of neurological disability by promoting axonal injury and neuron cell death.

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