Exposure to the house dust mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (D.p.) increases the risk for developing allergic diseases in humans and their best friends, the dogs. Here, we explored whether this allergenic mite via its enzymes may impact the cutaneous extracellular matrix (ECM), which critically determines epithelial barrier integrity both structurally and functionally.Two extracts obtained from either dust-purified or cultured D.p. bodies were used in the present study. To assess the potential impact of D.p. on protein components of the ECM, proteolytic activity of the D.p. extracts were determined by casein and gelatin gel zymography, and their N-acetyl-β-hexosaminidase activity determined colorimetrically. In addition, IgE-dependent and innate degranulation potential of D.p. was examined in canine MPT-1 mast cells and neurite outgrowth assay using rat pheochromocytoma PC-12 cells.In gel zymography, both extracts digested the substrates casein and gelatin in a dose-dependent manner, especially at alkaline pH, and effective in a wide range of temperatures (30 °C-42 °C). In particular, a 25-kDa band corresponding to Der p 1, the major D.p. allergen for humans, was found enzymatically active in both casein and gelatin gels regardless of the presence of metal ions and of alkaline conditions. Besides protease activity, N-acetyl-β-hexosaminidase activity was detected in both extracts, suggesting that D.p. affects the cutaneous ECM through deteriorating both proteins and glycosaminoglycans. While both D.p. extracts induced IgE-dependent mast cell degranulation, much less innate effects on mast- and neuronal cells were observed.Our data highlight that D.p. is a robust source of several distinct enzymes with protease- and N-acetyl-β-hexosaminidase activities. In alkaline milieu they can degrade components of the ECM. Therefore, D.p. may contribute to epithelial barrier disruption especially when the skin surface pH is elevated.