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Trends Biochem Sci. 2009 Sep;34(9):453-63. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2009.08.001. Epub 2009 Aug 31.

The emerging roles of serine protease cascades in the epidermis.

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Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology, Ghent University, Belgium.


It has become clear in recent years that serine proteases have an important role in epidermal homeostasis, and the signaling cascades are gradually being identified. For example, matriptase, prostasin and furin are implicated in a cascade that could activate ENaC, leading to epidermal barrier formation and hydration, probably in part through their involvement in filaggrin processing. Kallikreins can form a signaling cascade to coordinate corneocyte desquamation. Knowledge is also emerging about how endogenous inhibitors, calcium and pH control these cascades. It is becoming clear that some skin pathologies are associated with deregulated serine protease activity. Therefore, a deeper knowledge of the regulation of these serine protease cascades could form the basis for development of appropriate treatments for skin disorders such as Netherton syndrome.

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