Proteinases in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Biochem Soc Trans. 2002 Apr;30(2):98-102.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major health problem worldwide, and we have little specific therapy to offer these patients. One potential strategy to limit loss of lung function in COPD would be to inhibit matrix-degrading proteinases. Several serine proteinases and matrix metalloproteinases are expressed in association with COPD in humans. Application of gene-targeted macrophage elastase and neutrophil elastase to a mouse model of cigarette-smoke-induced emphysema has uncovered roles for these proteinases in airspace enlargement, and has identified many interactions between these proteolytic systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bronchi / enzymology
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / enzymology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / enzymology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / etiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / pathology
  • Serine Endopeptidases / metabolism


  • Endopeptidases
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases