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Kallikrein-related Peptidase 5 (KLK5) Expression and Distribution in Canine Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is one of the most common types of malignant skin cancer in dogs, representing 3.9-10.4% of all canine skin tumours. Although the metastatic potential of cSCC is debated, it appears to mimic that observed in man. In man, predictive histopathological features for metastasis include tumour depth, lesions >5-6 mm in depth, and invasion of muscle, cartilage or bone. In dogs, some reports have focused on the clinical features and long-term progression of cSCC, but a gold standard treatment has not yet been developed. We explored the protein expression of kallikrein-related peptidase 5 (KLK5), an important modulator of skin homeostasis, in normal canine skin and in examples of cSCC. KLK5 was highly expressed in the upper stratum granulosum, stratum corneum, hair follicles and sweat glands, skin sites where human KLK5 has been shown to be involved in physiological processes including keratinocyte desquamation, antimicrobial defence, lipid permeability and pigmentation. In cSCC, tumour cells at the deep margin, as well as those in the centre of keratin pearls, displayed cytoplasmic expression of KLK5. Some of the KLK5 immunoreactive cells also expressed vimentin, suggesting that they may be undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition and therefore have a more invasive behaviour than those expressing only KLK5. KLK5 may be a novel molecular biomarker useful for predicting prognosis of cSSC in dogs.

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Integrated Transcriptome Analysis Reveals KLK5 and L1CAM Predict Response to Anlotinib in NSCLC at 3rd Line.

The oral multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) anlotinib is effective for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in clinical trials at 3rd line. However, a fraction of patients remains non-responsive, raising the need of how to identify anlotinib-responsive patients. In the present study, we aimed to screen potential biomarkers for anlotinib-responsive stratification via integrated transcriptome analysis. Comparing with the anlotinib-sensitive lung cancer cell NCI-H1975, we found 1,315 genes were differentially expressed in anlotinib-resistant NCI-H1975 cells. Among the enriched angiogenesis-related genes, we observed high expression of and was mostly associated with poor clinical outcomes in NSCLC patients through Kaplan-Meier survival analysis in a TCGA cohort. Moreover, an independent validation in a cohort of ALTER0303 (NCT02388919) indicated that high serum levels of KLK5 and L1CAM were also associated with poor anlotinib response in NSCLC patients at 3rd line. Lastly, we demonstrated that knockdown of and increases anlotinib-induced cytotoxicity in anlotinib-resistant NCI-H1975 cells. Collectively, our study suggested serum levels of KLK5 and L1CAM potentially serve as biomarkers for anlotinib-responsive stratification in NSCLC patients at 3rd line.

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Immunohistochemical staining of skin-expressed proteins to identify exfoliated epidermal cells for forensic purposes.

The determination of cell type in biological casework samples would be helpful to identify the type of body fluids and interpret the DNA source in forensic laboratories. Exfoliated epidermal cells are considered to be a reasonable source of touch DNA; therefore, we developed and assessed an immunohistochemistry (IHC) procedure for identifying exfoliated epidermal cells as a screening test of touch DNA samples. Among five candidate protein markers investigated in this study, keratin 10 and kallikrein-related peptidase 5 were strongly expressed in the stratum corneum layer of the skin; however, their specificity was insufficient to identify epidermal cells. In contrast, IHC for corneodesmosin (CDSN), desmocollin 1 (DSC1), and filaggrin (FLG) was considered to be applicable because of their detectability and specificity on skin swab samples. Actually, CDSN and DSC1 could be good markers for exfoliated epidermal cells on touched contact traces that were contaminated with many unidentified impurities. Besides, positivity for FLG on mock casework samples appeared to be lower than for the other markers, which might be caused by its instability. Finally, the relationship between positivity for IHC and DNA yield was analyzed using skin swab samples. Although it was difficult to determine these correlations quantitatively because of the heterogeneous distribution of cells and the presence of cell-free DNA, the DNA-quantifiable samples analyzed in this study contained at least some of IHC-positive epidermal cells. In conclusion, IHC detection of skin-enriched proteins, especially CDSN and DSC1, could be useful for screening samples that have been handled or touched by someone before DNA analysis.

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Design and development of a series of borocycles as selective, covalent kallikrein 5 inhibitors.

The connection between Netherton syndrome and overactivation of epidermal/dermal proteases, particularly Kallikrein 5 (KLK5) has been well established and it is expected that a KLK5 inhibitor would improve the dermal barrier and also reduce the pain and itch that afflict Netherton syndrome patients. One of the challenges of covalent protease inhibitors has been achieving selectivity over closely related targets. In this paper we describe the use of structural insight to design and develop a selective and highly potent reversibly covalent KLK5 inhibitor from an initial weakly binding fragment.

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Mechanisms of itching in mycosis fungoides: grade of itching correlates with eosinophil infiltration and kallikrein 5 expression.

Mycosis fungoides (MF) is the most common variant of cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL). Itching can be a major symptom for patients with CTCL, however, itching associated with MF is not relieved by conventional therapy using anti-histamines, suggesting that histamine is not the main pruritogen. Therefore, the underlying mechanisms of itching in MF patients remain unclear.

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Elimination of KLK5 inhibits early skin tumorigenesis by reducing epidermal proteolysis and reinforcing epidermal microstructure.

Epidermal desquamation involves a finely-tuned proteolytic cascade ensuring the regulated cleavage of desmosomes that releases old stratum corneum outermost layers. Although the roles of desmosomes in normal physiology are well-established, their putative involvement in cancer remains unexplored. The KLK5 protease is thought of having fundamental roles in epidermal proteolysis and homeostasis, and its aberrant activity has been linked to skin pathologies. We found that deletion of Klk5 results in significantly higher numbers of lengthier desmosomes and enhanced skin strength. Klk5 mice retained normal skin barrier function and are resistant to chemically-induced skin tumorigenesis. The resistance to tumorigenesis was not due to inhibition of inflammation, and on the contrary, absence of Klk5 increased the TPA-induced inflammatory skin response. We found that increased desmosomes and reduced proteolysis prevent oncogenic signaling by capturing β-catenin into the cytoplasm and facilitate epidermal keratinocyte apoptosis, thus, inhibiting tumor initiation. We highlight that the skin ultrastructure affects early neoplastic transformation by modulating intracellular signaling and suggest that tissue reinforcement provides a novel mode of tumor suppression.

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Quantitative assessment and clinical relevance of kallikrein-related peptidase 5 mRNA expression in advanced high-grade serous ovarian cancer.

In ovarian cancer, dysregulation of mRNA expression of several components of the family of the kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) is observed. In this study, we have analyzed the KLK5 mRNA expression pattern in tumor tissue of patients suffering from high-grade serous ovarian cancer stage FIGO III/IV. Moreover, we have correlated the KLK5 mRNA levels with clinical outcome.

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Physiological and pathological roles of kallikrein-related peptidases in the epidermis.

Identifying the function of kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) in the epidermis has elicited great interest over recent decades. KLKs comprise 15 serine proteases, and their activities are regulated by complex and fine-tuned mechanisms involving the proteolytic activation cascade, endogenous inhibitors, and environmental factors. When the balance is disrupted, excessive or insufficient protease activity can impair epidermal barrier homeostasis. KLKs are involved in various events, such as skin inflammation, wound healing, pruritus, anti-bacterial activity, and viral susceptibility. One of the primary roles of KLKs, mainly KLK5 and KLK7, is physiological desquamation. Both proteases are also involved in the development of inflammatory skin diseases with barrier abnormalities, e.g., Netherton syndrome and atopic dermatitis (AD). In Netherton syndrome, unrestricted activity of KLK5 due to loss of the major endogenous inhibitor, lymphoepithelial Kazal-type-related inhibitor (LEKTI), destroys the component molecules of corneodesmosome, leading to Th2 and Th17 inflammation. Meanwhile, the increased activity of KLK7 in the hyperkeratotic lesions of chronic AD is suppressed by upregulated LEKTI. The functions and implications of other KLKs including KLK6 and KLK8 in healthy and diseased skin such as psoriasis represent an exciting but relatively unexplored area. Clarifying the function of epidermal KLKs will enable development of disease-specific biomarkers and new therapeutic strategies.

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