The role of YKL-40 in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases: a comprehensive review

Kalthoum Tizaoui, Jae Won Yang, Keum Hwa Lee, Ji Hong Kim, Minseok Kim, Sojung Yoon, Yeonwoo Jung, Joon Beom Park, Kitae An, Hyeok Choi, Donggyu Song, Hyuntaek Jung, Seongmin Ahn, Taeho Yuh, Hee Min Choi, Jae Ha Ahn, Younjuong Kim, Sanghyun Jee, Hyeongsun Lee, Soohwa JinJun Gu Kang, Bohyun Koo, Joo Yeop Lee, Kyoung Min Min, Wonseok Yoo, Hyeong Jun Rhyu, Yeonjung Yoon, Min Ho Lee, Sung Eun Kim, Jimin Hwang, Ai Koyanagi, Louis Jacob, Seoyeon Park, Jae Il Shin, Lee Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


YKL-40, a chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3L1) or human cartilage glycoprotein 39 (HC gp-39), is expressed and secreted by various cell-types including macrophages, chondrocytes, fibroblast-like synovial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells. Its biological function is not well elucidated, but it is speculated to have some connection with inflammatory reactions and autoimmune diseases. Although having important biological roles in autoimmunity, there were only attempts to elucidate relationships of YKL-40 with a single or couple of diseases in the literature. Therefore, in order to analyze the relationship between YKL-40 and the overall diseases, we reviewed 51 articles that discussed the association of YKL-40 with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Behçet disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Several studies showed that YKL-40 could be assumed as a marker for disease diagnosis, prognosis, disease activity and severity. It is also shown to be involved in response to disease treatment. However, other studies showed controversial results particularly in the case of Behçet disease activity. Therefore, further studies are needed to elucidate the exact role of YKL-40 in autoimmunity and to investigate its potential in therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3731-3746
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
No financial support was provided for research conduct and/or preparation of the article.

Publisher Copyright:
© The author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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