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Research article2006Peer reviewedOpen access

Biology of mast cell tryptase - An inflammatory mediator

Hallgren J, Pejler G


In 1960, a trypsin-like activity was found in mast cells [Glenner GG & Cohen LA (1960) Nature 185, 846-847] and this activity is now commonly referred to as tryptase'. Over the years, much knowledge about mast cell tryptase has been gathered, and a recent (18 January 2006) PubMed search for the keywords 'tryptase + mast cell*' retrieved 1661 articles. However, still very little is known about its true biological function. For example, the true physiological substrate(s) for mast cell tryptase has not been identified, and the potential role of tryptase in mast cell-related disease is not understood. Mast cell tryptase has several unique features, with perhaps the most remarkable being its organization into a tetrameric state with all of the active sites oriented towards a narrow central pore and its consequent complete resistance towards endogenous macromolecular protease inhibitors. Much effort has been invested to elucidate these properties of tryptase. In this review we Summarize the current knowledge of mast cell tryptase, including novel insights into its possible biological functions and mechanisms of regulation

Published in

FEBS Journal
2006, Volume: 273, number: 9, pages: 1871-1895

      SLU Authors

    • Pejler, Gunnar

      • Department of Molecular Biosciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science
    Veterinary Science

    Publication identifier


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