Proteins containing a Kunitz domain have the typical serine protease inhibition function ranging from sea anemone to man. Protease inhibitors play major roles in infection, inflammation disorders and cancer. This review discusses the role of serine proteases containing a Kunitz domain in immunomodulation induced by helminth parasites. Helminth parasites are associated with protection from inflammatory conditions. Therefore, interest has raised whether worm parasites or their products hold potential as drugs for treatment of immunological disorders. Finally, we also propose the use of recombinant SmKI-1 from Schistosoma mansoni as a potential therapeutic molecule to treat inflammatory diseases.
Keywords: Immunomodulation; Kunitz inhibitors; Schistosoma mansoni; SmKI-1.
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