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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board Member: Buchner, Johannes / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

12 Issues per year



Tissue kallikrein in cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and renal diseases and skin wound healing

Julie Chao1 / Bo Shen1 / Lin Gao1 / Chun-Fang Xia1 / Grant Bledsoe1 / Lee Chao1

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA

Corresponding author

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry. Volume 391, Issue 4, Pages 345–355, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: 10.1515/bc.2010.042, February 2010

Publication History

Published Online:


Tissue kallikrein (KLK1) processes low-molecular weight kininogen to produce vasoactive kinins, which exert biological functions via kinin receptor signaling. Using various delivery approaches, we have demonstrated that tissue kallikrein through kinin B2 receptor signaling exhibits a wide spectrum of beneficial effects by reducing cardiac and renal injuries, restenosis and ischemic stroke, and by promoting angiogenesis and skin wound healing, independent of blood pressure reduction. Protection by tissue kallikrein in oxidative organ damage is attributed to the inhibition of apoptosis, inflammation, hypertrophy and fibrosis. Tissue kallikrein also enhances neovascularization in ischemic heart and limb. Moreover, tissue kallikrein/kinin infusion not only prevents but also reverses kidney injury, inflammation and fibrosis in salt-induced hypertensive rats. Furthermore, there is a wide time window for kallikrein administration in protection against ischemic brain infarction, as delayed kallikrein infusion for 24 h after cerebral ischemia in rats is effective in reducing neurological deficits, infarct size, apoptosis and inflammation. Importantly, in the clinical setting, human tissue kallikrein has been proven to be effective in the treatment of patients with acute brain infarction when injected within 48 h after stroke onset. Finally, kallikrein promotes skin wound healing and keratinocyte migration by direct activation of protease-activated receptor 1.

Keywords: blood vessel; brain; heart; kidney; kinin B2 receptor; skin; tissue kallikrein

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