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Biochem J. Jul 1, 1993; 293(Pt 1): 187–193.
PMCID: PMC1134338

Molecular cloning and expression of an intracellular serpin: an elastase inhibitor from horse leucocytes.


Horse blood leucocytes contain an elastase inhibitor (HLEI) belonging to the serpin family. Poly(A)+RNA isolated from these cells was used to construct a cDNA library in lambda gt10, which was first screened with a synthetic degenerate oligonucleotide probe corresponding to the amino acid sequence of the reactive centre of the inhibitor. Three clones were obtained covering the entire coding region of the protein. Sequencing of these clones showed identity with the amino acid sequence obtained from Edman degradation of the elastase inhibitor. The coding sequence of the HLEI cDNA was cloned into the bacterial expression vector pKK233-2 and expressed in Escherichia coli cells. Transformed bacteria expressed significant amounts of the protein, which was immunoprecipitated with a specific anti-HLEI antiserum. Furthermore, HLEI expressed in bacteria inhibited the activity of elastase but not trypsin.

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