The human kallikrein-related peptidase 6 (KLK6) gene belongs to the 15-member kallikrein (KLK) gene family mapping to chromosome 19q13.3–13.4. Encoding for an enzyme with trypsin-like properties, KLK6 can degrade components of the extracellular matrix. The successful utilisation of another KLK member (KLK3/PSA) for prostate cancer diagnosis has led many to evaluate KLK6 as a potential biomarker for other cancer and diseased states. The observed dysregulated expression in cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and skin conditions has led to the discovery that KLK6 participates in other cellular pathways including inflammation, receptor activation and regulation of apoptosis. Moreover, the improvements in high-throughput genomics have not only enabled the identification of sequence polymorphisms, but of transcript variants, whose functional significances have yet to be realised. This comprehensive review will summarise the current findings of KLK6 pathophysiology and discuss its potential as a viable biomarker.
©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston