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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 57-65

Role of proteases in pathophysiology of allergic diseases

Allergy and Immunology Section, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Naveen Arora
Room 509, Allergy and Immunology Section, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi University Campus, Mall Road, New Delhi - 110 007
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-6691.195210

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Prevalence of allergic diseases ranges from 20% to 30% worldwide and is increasing for the last few decades. Emerging studies have implicated proteases, both endogenous and exogenous in initiating, mediating, and exacerbating allergic responses. Mast Cells (MCs) are the critical effectors of the allergic diseases and upon activation release a wide variety of mediators and account for the majority of endogenous proteases including chymase, tryptase, and MC-carboxypeptidase A (MC-CPA). The substrates of MC proteases include extracellular matrix components, proenzymes, and cell surface receptors. These proteases are stored in a fully active state and upon release contribute to the tissue injury. Along with endogenous proteases, allergens having protease activity have also been implicated in the manifestation of allergic diseases. Protease allergens are known to modulate immune responses toward Th2 by (i) disrupting protease-antiprotease balance at the epithelial surfaces, (ii) disrupting airway epithelial barrier, (iii) activating airway epithelial cells, (iv) modulating the activity of immune cells, and (v) by cleaving cell surface receptors. As proteases play crucial roles in the manifestation of allergic reactions, they can be exploited as a target for the development of new generation therapies for allergic diseases.

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