Elastic fibers are important for elasticity and extensibility of lung tissue. In the developing lung, elastic fibers appear in greatest numbers during the process or period of alveolarization . A variety of mesenchymal cells in lung appear responsible for elastin synthesis. Elastin is a novel protein both from the standpoint of its processing into elastic fibers and chemical properties. For example, elastin undergoes posttranslational modification before its assembly into fibers. These steps include limited proteolysis, hydroxylation of prolyl residues and the oxidative deamination of lysyl residues prior to their incorporation into the crosslinks that covalently bond together polypeptide chains of elastin. The crosslinking amino acids include lysinonorleucine , merodesmosine and desmosine isomers. A key enzyme that controls this process is lysyl oxidase. Lysyl oxidase is a copper metalloprotein whose activity is responsive to and modulated by environmental insults, nutrition deficiencies and the administration of various pharmacological agents. Regarding chemical properties, elastin is one of the most apolar proteins secreted by mammalian cells. Moreover, elastin is one of the most long-lived proteins secreted into the extracellular matrix. In relationship to its processing into elastic fibers and chemical properties, details related to major aspects of elastin metabolism as well as speculation on its potential as a factor in lung development and disease are discussed.