Based on the isolation of a 55 amino acid peptide from human hemofiltrate, we cloned the cDNA for a novel human 15-domain serine proteinase inhibitor termed LEKTI. A trypsininhibiting activity was demonstrated for three different domains. High levels of expression of the corresponding gene were detected in oral mucosa, followed by the tonsils, parathyroid glands, thymus, and trachea. Hovnanian and coworkers recently found that certain mutations within the LEKTI gene are linked to the severe congenital disease Netherton syndrome and atopic manifestations (including asthma). Thus, a future therapeutic use of LEKTI is conceivable.
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