SERPINB3, apoptosis and autoimmunity

Autoimmun Rev. 2009 Dec;9(2):108-12. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2009.03.011. Epub 2009 Mar 27.


SERPINB3 (Squamous Cell Carcinoma Antigen, SCCA1) is a member of the ov-serpins, a serine protease inhibitors family expressed in many cell types including normal epithelium, leukocytes, tumors of epithelial origin and primary liver cancer. Several studies, carried out in vitro and in vivo, have documented an important role of SERPINB3 in the modulation of programmed cell death by different mechanisms, both in inflammatory processes and in cancer. SERPINB3 significantly attenuates apoptosis by contrasting cytochrome c release from the mitochondria and by antichemotactic effect for NK cells. Mechanisms involved in apoptosis induction and regulation play a key role in the balance between cell proliferation and death. Imbalance of this equilibrium may contribute to the development of autoimmune diseases, as defective apoptosis of immune cells leads to deregulated autoreactive cell proliferation. Since defective programmed cell death represents a critical feature of autoimmunity, the involvement of SERPINB3 in this pathological field deserves further studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism*
  • Apoptosis*
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / immunology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma / immunology
  • Carcinoma / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Cell Migration Inhibition
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cytochromes c / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / metabolism*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / pathology
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Serpins / genetics
  • Serpins / immunology
  • Serpins / metabolism*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Serpins
  • squamous cell carcinoma-related antigen
  • Cytochromes c