Pancreatic stone protein (PSP; reported in 1979), pancreatitis-associated protein (PAP; 1984) and regenerating protein (Reg I; 1988) were discovered independently in the fields of the exocrine (pancreatitis) and endocrine (diabetes) pancreas. Subsequent analysis revealed that PSP and Reg I are identical and PAP belongs to the same protein family. PSP/Reg I and PAP share a selective and specific trypsin cleavage site and result in insoluble fibrils (PTP, PATP). Search for a functional role of PSP had led to the idea that it might serve as an inhibitor in pancreatic stone formation and PSP was renamed lithostathine. Inhibitory effects of lithostathine in stone formation have been questioned. Evidence so far obtained can support a lithogenic role rather than a lithostatic role of PSP. PAP and its isoforms have been investigated mainly regarding responses to inflammation and stress. Reg I and its isoforms have been examined on regeneration, growth and mitogenesis in gastrointestinal neoplastic diseases as well as diabetes. Evidence obtained can be applied in the prediction of prognosis and therapy for inflammatory and neoplastic diseases.
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