Proteinases of human epidermis; a possible mechanism for polymorphonuclear leukocyte chemotaxis

Norman Levine, Victor B. Hatcher, Gerald S. Lazarus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Three neutral proteinases (EC 3.4.-.-) and cathepsin D have been identified in human epidermis utilizing a highly sensitive radioactive method. The proteinases were extracted in 1.0 M KCl and 0.1% Triton X-100 and separated by Sephadex G-75 chromatography. The neutral proteinase peaks were all inhibited by diisopropyl fluorophosphate and thus were serine proteinases. Incubation of the enzyme fractions with [3H]diisopropyl fluorophosphate followed by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis demonstrated that the two larger molecular weight proteinases were enzyme mixtures. The small molecular weight [3H]diisopropyl fluorophosphate proteinase migrated as a single band. Injection of the small molecular weight neutral proteinase into rabbit skin produced a polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration and edema. The reaction was not observed with the diisopropyl fluorophosphate-inhibited enzyme fraction. The release of neutral proteinases may be one of the signal events in the epidermal inflammatory response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-467
Number of pages10
JournalBBA - Enzymology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 8 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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