+1 Recommend
1 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Chitinases and Chitinase-Like Proteins in Obstructive Lung Diseases – Current Concepts and Potential Applications

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


          Chitinases, enzymes that cleave chitin’s chain to low molecular weight chitooligomers, are widely distributed in nature. Mammalian chitinases belong to the 18-glycosyl-hydrolase family and can be divided into two groups: true chitinases with enzymatic activity (AMCase and chitotriosidase) and chitinase-like proteins (CLPs) molecules which can bind to chitin or chitooligosaccharides but lack enzymatic activity (eg, YKL-40). Chitinases are thought to be part of an innate immunity against chitin-containing parasites and fungal infections. Both groups of these hydrolases are lately evaluated also as chemical mediators or biomarkers involved in airway inflammation and fibrosis. The aim of this article is to present the current knowledge on the potential role of human chitinases and CLPs in the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and course of obstructive lung diseases. We also assessed the potential role of chitinase and CLPs inhibitors as therapeutic targets in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 106

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Acidic mammalian chitinase in asthmatic Th2 inflammation and IL-13 pathway activation.

          Chitin is a surface component of parasites and insects, and chitinases are induced in lower life forms during infections with these agents. Although chitin itself does not exist in humans, chitinases are present in the human genome. We show here that acidic mammalian chitinase (AMCase) is induced via a T helper-2 (Th2)-specific, interleukin-13 (IL-13)-mediated pathway in epithelial cells and macrophages in an aeroallergen asthma model and expressed in exaggerated quantities in human asthma. AMCase neutralization ameliorated Th2 inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness, in part by inhibiting IL-13 pathway activation and chemokine induction. AMCase may thus be an important mediator of IL-13-induced responses in Th2-dominated disorders such as asthma.
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Marked elevation of plasma chitotriosidase activity. A novel hallmark of Gaucher disease.

            Gaucher disease (GD; glucosylceramidosis) is caused by a deficient activity of the enzyme glucocerebrosidase (GC). Clinical manifestations are highly variable and cannot be predicted accurately on the basis of the properties of mutant GC. Analysis of secondary abnormalities, such as elevated plasma levels of some hydrolases, may help to increase insight into the complicated pathophysiology of the disease and could also provide useful disease markers. The recent availability of enzyme supplementation therapy for GD increases the need for markers as early predictors of the efficacy of treatment. We report the finding of a very marked increase in chitotrisidase activity in plasma of 30 of 32 symptomatic type 1 GD patients studied: the median activity being > 600 times the median value in plasma of healthy volunteers. In three GC-deficient individuals without clinical symptoms, only slight increases were noted. Chitotriosidase activity was absent in plasma of three control subjects and two patients. During enzyme supplementation therapy, chitotriosidase activity declined dramatically. We conclude that plasma chitotriosidase levels can serve as a new diagnostic hallmark of GD and should prove to be useful in assessing whether clinical manifestations of GD are present and for monitoring the efficacy of therapeutic intervention.
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Functions of T cells in asthma: more than just T(H)2 cells.

              Asthma has been considered a T helper 2 (T(H)2) cell-associated inflammatory disease, and T(H)2-type cytokines, such as interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5 and IL-13, are thought to drive the disease pathology in patients. Although atopic asthma has a substantial T(H)2 cell component, the disease is notoriously heterogeneous, and recent evidence has suggested that other T cells also contribute to the development of asthma. Here, we discuss the roles of different T cell subsets in the allergic lung, consider how each subset can contribute to the development of allergic pathology and evaluate how we might manipulate these cells for new asthma therapies.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                23 April 2020
                : 15
                : 885-899
                [1 ]Department of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases and Allergy, Medical University of Warsaw , Warsaw, Poland
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Katarzyna Górska Department of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases and Allergy, Medical University of Warsaw , Banacha 1A, Warsaw02-097 Email
                © 2020 Przysucha et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, References: 122, Pages: 15

                Respiratory medicine

                amcase, chitotriosidase, chit1, ykl-40, copd, asthma


                Comment on this article