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FEBS J. 2005 Oct;272(19):4858-67.

The undecided serpin. The ins and outs of plasminogen activator inhibitor type 2.

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  • 1Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, Monash University, Prahran, Victoria, Australia. Robert.medcalf@med.monash.edu.au


Plasminogen activator inhibitor type-2 (PAI-2) is a nonconventional serine protease inhibitor (serpin) with unique and tantalizing properties that is generally considered to be an authentic and physiological inhibitor of urokinase. However, the fact that only a small percentage of PAI-2 is secreted has been a long-standing argument for alternative roles for this serpin. Indeed, PAI-2 has been shown to have a number of intracellular roles: it can alter gene expression, influence the rate of cell proliferation and differentiation, and inhibit apoptosis in a manner independent of urokinase inhibition. Despite these recent advances in defining the intracellular function of PAI-2, it still remains one of the most mysterious and enigmatic members of the serpin superfamily.

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