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Chitinases and Chitinase-Like Proteins in Obstructive Lung Diseases – Current Concepts and Potential Applications

Authors Przysucha N, Górska K, Krenke R

Received 9 November 2019

Accepted for publication 10 March 2020

Published 23 April 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 885—899


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Natalia Przysucha, Katarzyna Górska, Rafal Krenke

Department of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases and Allergy, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Correspondence: Katarzyna Górska
Department of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases and Allergy, Medical University of Warsaw, Banacha 1A, Warsaw 02-097 Email

Abstract: Chitinases, enzymes that cleave chitin’s chain to low molecular weight chitooligomers, are widely distributed in nature. Mammalian chitinases belong to the  18-glycosyl-hydrolase family and can be divided into two groups: true chitinases with enzymatic activity (AMCase and chitotriosidase) and chitinase-like proteins (CLPs) molecules which can bind to chitin or chitooligosaccharides but lack enzymatic activity (eg, YKL-40). Chitinases are thought to be part of an innate immunity against chitin-containing parasites and fungal infections. Both groups of these hydrolases are lately evaluated also as chemical mediators or biomarkers involved in airway inflammation and fibrosis. The aim of this article is to present the current knowledge on the potential role of human chitinases and CLPs in the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and course of obstructive lung diseases. We also assessed the potential role of chitinase and CLPs inhibitors as therapeutic targets in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.

Keywords: asthma, COPD, YKL-40, CHIT1, chitotriosidase, AMCase

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