Imbalanced protease activity has long been recognized in the progression of disease states such as cancer and inflammation. Serpins, the largest family of endogenous protease inhibitors, target a wide variety of serine and cysteine proteases and play a role in a number of physiological and pathological states. The expression profiles of 20 serpins and 105 serine and cysteine proteases were determined across a panel of normal and diseased human tissues. In general, expression of serpins was highly restricted in both normal and diseased tissues, suggesting defined physiological roles for these protease inhibitors. A high correlation in expression for a particular serpin-protease pair in healthy tissues was often predictive of a biological interaction. The most striking finding was the dramatic change observed in the regulation of expression between proteases and their cognate inhibitors in diseased tissues. The loss of regulated serpin-protease matched expression may underlie the imbalanced protease activity observed in pathological states.
- Expression profiling
- Gene correlation