Pancreatic stone protein - sepsis and the riddles of the exocrine pancreas

Pancreatology. 2020 Apr;20(3):301-304. doi: 10.1016/j.pan.2020.01.016. Epub 2020 Feb 1.


Pancreatic stone protein (PSP), discovered in the 1970ies, was first associated with stone formation during chronic pancreatitis. Later, the same protein was independently detected in islet preparations and named regenerating protein 1 (REG1). Additional isoforms of PSP, including pancreatitis-associated protein (PAP), belong to the same protein family. Although the names indicate a potential function in stone formation or islet regeneration, involvements in cellular processes were only suggestive and never unequivocally proven. We established an association between PSP levels in patient blood samples and the development of sepsis. In this review, written in connection with receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award of the European Pancreatic Club, the evolution of the sepsis aspect of PSP is described. We conclude that the true functional properties of this fascinating pancreatic protein still remain an enigma.

Keywords: Pancreatic stone protein; Pancreatitis-associated protein; Regenerating protein; Secretory protein; Sepsis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calculi / complications
  • Calculi / genetics*
  • Calculi / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Isomerism
  • Lithostathine / genetics*
  • Lithostathine / metabolism
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / complications
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / genetics*
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / pathology*
  • Sepsis / etiology*
  • Sepsis / genetics*


  • Lithostathine
  • REG1A protein, human