Ovarian Cancer pp 165-187 | Cite as

The Human Kallikrein Gene Family: New Biomarkers for Ovarian Cancer

  • George M. Yousef
  • Eleftherios P. DiamandisEmail author
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 149)

The Human Kallikrein Gene Family

Structure and Genomic Organization

The term “kallikrein” (derived from the Greek kallikreas, for pancreas) was introduced in the 1930s to describe proteolytic enzymes that can release small vasoactive peptides from high-molecular-weight precursors. There are two categories of human kallikreins; the plasma and the tissue kallikreins. The plasma kallikrein is encoded by a single gene on chromosome 4. This enzyme (a serine protease) releases the vasoactive peptide bradykinin from a high-molecular-weight precursor synthesized in the liver.1 The human tissue kallikrein family is localized on chromosome 19 and also encodes for serine protease enzymes.2, 3, 4

Recently, a new classification emerged for tissue kallikreins that is not based on the functional definition but rather on structural criteria and map location. Based on the newer definition, the number of genes that are included in this family increased to 15, a number that is comparable with that of...


Ovarian Cancer Ovarian Cancer Cell Ovarian Cancer Patient Tissue Kallikrein Ovarian Epithelial Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mount Sinai Hospital, University Health Network and Toronto Medical Laboratories; Division of Clinical Biochemistry, Department of Laboratory Medicine & PathobiologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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