Serine protease inhibitors containing a Kunitz domain: their role in modulation of host inflammatory responses and parasite survival

Microbes Infect. 2018 Oct-Nov;20(9-10):606-609. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2018.01.003. Epub 2018 Apr 1.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / metabolism*
  • Helminth Proteins / chemistry
  • Helminth Proteins / metabolism*
  • Immunomodulation
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / therapy
  • Protein Conformation
  • Schistosoma mansoni / chemistry
  • Schistosoma mansoni / immunology
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni / immunology*
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni / therapy
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / metabolism*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors