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KLK gene family

Reviewed July 2014

What are the KLK genes?

Genes in the KLK family provide instructions for making enzymes called kallikreins, which act as serine proteases. A protease is an enzyme that breaks down proteins. The protein to be broken down attaches (binds) to the serine protease at a region of the enzyme known as the active site. In serine proteases, this active site always contains the protein building block (amino acid) serine.

The serine proteases produced from genes in the kallikrein family help break down proteins called kininogens to produce smaller proteins known as kinins. Kinins are involved in many processes in the body, including inflammation, blood clotting, and blood pressure control. Changes in genes in this family can affect the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other conditions influenced by these processes.

Which genes are included in the KLK gene family?

The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) provides an index of gene familiesThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. and their member genes.

Genetics Home Reference summarizes the normal function and health implications of this member of the KLK gene family: KLKB1.

What conditions are related to genes in the KLK gene family?

Genetics Home Reference includes these conditions related to genes in the KLK gene family:

Where can I find additional information about the KLK gene family?

You may find the following resources about the KLK gene family helpful.

Where can I find general information about genes and gene families?

The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.

What glossary definitions help with understanding the KLK gene family?

active site ; amino acid ; blood clotting ; cancer ; cardiovascular ; clotting ; enzyme ; inflammation ; protease ; protein ; serine

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (5 links)


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Reviewed: July 2014
Published: February 1, 2016