Kallikrein-related peptidase 14 may be a major contributor to trypsin-like proteolytic activity in human stratum corneum

Biol Chem. 2006 Jun;387(6):761-8. doi: 10.1515/BC.2006.095.


We have previously presented evidence that two human kallikrein-related peptidases, KLK5 (hK5, stratum corneum tryptic enzyme, SCTE) and KLK7 (hK7, stratum corneum chymotryptic enzyme, SCCE), which are abundant in the stratum corneum, may be involved in desquamation. Since we had noted that not all trypsin-like activity in the plantar stratum corneum could be ascribed to KLK5, we set out to identify other skin proteases with similar primary substrate specificity. Here we describe purification of a protease identified as KLK14 from plantar stratum corneum, and show that this enzyme may be responsible for as much as 50% of the total trypsin-like activity in this tissue, measured as activity towards a chromogenic substrate cleaved by a wide variety of enzymes with trypsin-like specificity. This was in spite of very low levels of KLK14 protein compared to KLK5 and KLK7. KLK14 could be detected by immunoblotting in normal superficial stratum corneum of all individuals examined. The majority of KLK14 in the plantar stratum corneum is present in its catalytically active form. KLK14 could be immunohistochemically detected in sweat ducts, preferentially in the intraepidermal parts (the acrosyringium), and in sweat glands. The role played by this very efficient protease under normal and disease conditions in the skin remains to be elucidated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Epidermis / enzymology*
  • Humans
  • Kallikreins / analysis
  • Kallikreins / isolation & purification
  • Kallikreins / metabolism*
  • Serine Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Sweat Glands / enzymology
  • Trypsin / metabolism*


  • KLK14 protein, human
  • Kallikreins
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Trypsin