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AliasesCELA3B, CBPP, E1, EL-1, ELA3B, chymotrypsin like elastase family member 3B
External IDsMGI: 1915118 HomoloGene: 128227 GeneCards: CELA3B
Gene location (Human)
Chromosome 1 (human)
Chr.Chromosome 1 (human)[1]
Chromosome 1 (human)
Genomic location for CELA3B
Genomic location for CELA3B
Band1p36.12Start21,977,021 bp[1]
End21,998,642 bp[1]
RefSeq (mRNA)



RefSeq (protein)



Location (UCSC)Chr 1: 21.98 – 22 MbChr 4: 137.42 – 137.43 Mb
PubMed search[3][4]
View/Edit HumanView/Edit Mouse

Chymotrypsin-like elastase family member 3B also known as elastase-3B, protease E, or fecal elastase is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the CELA3B gene.[5][6][7]

Clinical literature that describes human elastase 1 activity in the pancreas or fecal material is actually referring to chymotrypsin-like elastase family, member 3B (this protein).[8]


Elastases form a subfamily of serine proteases that hydrolyze many proteins in addition to elastin. Humans have six elastase genes which encode the structurally similar proteins elastase 1, 2, 2A, 2B, 3A, and 3B. Unlike other elastases, elastase 3B has little elastolytic activity. Like most of the human elastases, elastase 3B is secreted from the pancreas as a zymogen and, like other serine proteases such as trypsin, chymotrypsin and kallikrein, it has a digestive function in the intestine. Elastase 3B preferentially cleaves proteins after alanine residues. Elastase 3B may also function in the intestinal transport and metabolism of cholesterol. Both elastase 3A and elastase 3B have been referred to as protease E and as elastase 1, and excretion of this protein in fecal material is frequently used as a measure of pancreatic function in clinical assays.[7]

Clinical significance[edit]

Fecal elastase is a medical test that measures how well the pancreas is functioning.

The fecal elastase test measures the concentration of the elastase-3B enzyme found in fecal matter with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results of this test can give a good indication of exocrine pancreatic status, and the test is less invasive and expensive than the current "gold standard", secretin-cholecystokinin test.[9] Levels of fecal elastase lower than 200 μg / g of stool indicate an exocrine insufficiency. Correlations between low levels and chronic pancreatitis[10] and cancer[11] have been reported.


  1. ^ a b c GRCh38: Ensembl release 89: ENSG00000219073 - Ensembl, May 2017
  2. ^ a b c GRCm38: Ensembl release 89: ENSMUSG00000023433 - Ensembl, May 2017
  3. ^ "Human PubMed Reference:".
  4. ^ "Mouse PubMed Reference:".
  5. ^ Tani T, Ohsumi J, Mita K, Takiguchi Y (Feb 1988). "Identification of a novel class of elastase isozyme, human pancreatic elastase III, by cDNA and genomic gene cloning". J Biol Chem. 263 (3): 1231–9. PMID 2826474.
  6. ^ Shirasu Y, Takemura K, Yoshida H, Sato Y, Iijima H, Shimada Y, Mikayama T, Ozawa T, Ikeda N, Ishida A, et al. (Dec 1988). "Molecular cloning of complementary DNA encoding one of the human pancreatic protease E isozymes". J Biochem. 104 (2): 259–64. PMID 2460440.
  7. ^ a b "Entrez Gene: ELA3B elastase 3B, pancreatic".
  8. ^ "Entrez Gene: chymotrypsin-like elastase family, member 1".
  9. ^ Molinari I.; et al. (September 2004). "Fecal chymotrypsin and elastase-1 determination on one single stool collected at random: diagnostic value for exocrine pancreatic status". Clin Biochem. 37 (9): 758–763. doi:10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2004.03.010. PMID 15329313.
  10. ^ Fecal Elastase 1 ELISA For Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency: Comparison With ERCP-Morphology And Fecal Fat Excretion [1] Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Role of Fecal Elastase 1 in Pancreatic Cancer: A Pilot Study

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]