Biological chemistry

Genetic polymorphisms in the human tissue kallikrein (KLK) locus and their implication in various malignant and non-malignant diseases.

PMID 23667899


The Kallikrein ( KLK ) gene locus encodes a family of serine proteases and is the largest contiguous cluster of protease-encoding genes attributed an evolutionary age of 330 million years. The KLK locus has been implicated asa high susceptibility risk loci in numerous cancer studies through the last decade. The KLK3 gene already has established clinical relevance as a biomarker in prostate cancer prognosis through its encoded protein, prostate-specific antigen. Data mined through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and next-generation sequencing point to many important candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms(SNPs) in KLK3 and other KLK genes. SNPs in the KLK locus have been found to be associated with several diseases including cancer, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and atopic dermatitis. Moreover, introducing a model incorporating SNPs to improve the efficiency of prostate-specific antigen in detecting malignant states of prostate cancer has been recently suggested. Establishing the functional relevance of these newly-discovered SNPs, and their interactions with each other, through in silico investigations followed by experimental validation,can accelerate the discovery of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. In this review, we discuss the various genetic association studies on the KLK loci identified either through candidate gene association studies or at the GWAS and post-GWAS front to aid researchers in streamlining their search for the most significant, relevant and therapeutically promising candidate KLK gene and/or SNP for future investigations.

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K3627 Kallikrein from porcine pancreas, ≥40 units/mg protein