Elafin, (also referred to as skin-derived anti-leukocprotease) a member of chelonians, is a serine protease inhibitor that also exhibit antimicrobial activities. The precursor of Elafin is trappin-2 or pre-Elafin (9.9kDa) is cleaved by neutrophil elastase into the 6kDa peptide. The major producers of Elafin are epithelial cells and kertainocytes, and the expression can be enhanced under inflammatory conditions such as in the presence of IL-1 and TNFa. Elafin acts mainly to inhibit 3 serine proteases, human neutrophil elastase, proteinase 3, and porcine pancreatic elastase, which have been correlated in tissue damage mechanisms induced by chronic inflammation. The antimicriobial activity of Elafin is independent from its anti-protease activity, most likely through modulation of innate sensing mechanisms. Elafin is a biomarker that has been correlated to a natural resistance to HIV infection in commercial sex workers. The most well-studied function of Elafin is its anti-inflammatory activities and its usage as a biomarker for various inflammatory diseases. For chronic inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis, serum levels of Elafin are elevated in these patients. In Crohn’s disease, high serum Elafin is a potential biomarker to identify patients at risk for developing intestinal strictures. In inflammatory diseases that are correlated with increased presence of neutrophil elastase, such as emphysema, Elafin may protect against tissue damage by inhibiting the action of the elastase. Myriad RBM’s Elafin assay can be a valuable clinical research tool in studying inflammatory diseases whose pathology are correlated with certain neutrophil enzymes.
Swiss-Prot Accession Number: Q6LD69