neutral proteases

Last reviewed 01/2018

Neutral proteases are a range of enzymes which can break down extracellular components. The group includes collagenase and elastase. Targets include collagen, basement membranes and fibrin. Neutral proteases also act on kininogens to produce a kinin-like peptide. Sites of enzyme storage include neutrophils and macrophages.

Normally, physiological inhibitors of neutral proteases circulate within the plasma. One of the most important is alpha-1-antitrypsin which primarily inhibits neutrophil elastase.

Elastase also exists as a pancreatic exoenzyme.