Trappin ovine molecule (TOM), the ovine ortholog of elafin, is an acute phase reactant in the lung

Thomas I Brown, Rohit Mistry, D David Collie, Steven Tate, Jean-Michel Sallenave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As large animal models continue to play an important role in translating lung-directed therapeutic strategies from laboratory animals to humans, there is an increasing interest in the analysis of endogenous regulators of inflammation at both a genomic and a therapeutic level. To this end, we have sought to characterize the ovine ortholog of elafin, an important regulator of inflammation in humans. We have isolated both the elafin cDNA and gene, which have a similar structure to other species' orthologs. Interestingly, we have isolated two alleles for ovine elafin, which contain a very high number of transglutamination repeats, thought to be important in binding elafin to the interstitium. The mainly mucosal mRNA distribution for ovine elafin suggests that ovine elafin may, like its human ortholog, have functions in innate immunity. This is supported by analysis of elafin and the related protein secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) in ovine bronchoalveolar fluid in response to locally administered lipopolysaccharide and confirmation of them acting as "alarm" antiproteases. We have also cloned the ovine elafin cDNA into an adenoviral vector and have demonstrated correct processing of the secreted protein as well as biological activity. Overexpression of ovine elafin in a lung-derived epithelial cell line has a protective effect against the enzymes human neutrophil and porcine pancreatic elastase. The identification of the ovine elafin gene and its translated protein are important in developing practical strategies aimed at regulating inflammation in the large mammalian lung.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiological Genomics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2004


  • Swine
  • Secretory Leukocyte Peptidase Inhibitor
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Inflammation
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Proteinase Inhibitory Proteins, Secretory
  • Sheep, Domestic
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Alleles
  • Base Sequence
  • Pancreatic Elastase
  • Lung
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Introns
  • Proteins
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Acute-Phase Reaction
  • Up-Regulation
  • Cell Line


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