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J Biol Chem. 1994 May 27;269(21):15223-8.

Localization of vitronectin binding domain in plasminogen activator inhibitor-1.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-0650.


Plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) is the rapid physiologic inhibitor of tissue-type plasminogen activator and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA). In plasma and the extracellular matrix, PAI-1 is associated with the adhesive glycoprotein vitronectin. In order to characterize the PAI-1 structural domain responsible for binding to vitronectin, the segment of the PAI-1 cDNA encoding amino acids 13-147 (nucleotides 248-650) was randomly mutagenized and subcloned into a bacterial expression vector containing the mature PAI-1 coding sequence. Recombinant PAI-1 mutants were expressed in Escherichia coli and bacterial lysates assayed in duplicate for uPA inhibitory activity and vitronectin binding. Of 190 clones screened, six consistently demonstrated decreased vitronectin binding relative to uPA inhibitory activity. DNA sequence analysis of four of these clones identified 10 unique missense mutations, all located between base pairs 298 and 641, with each clone containing between one and four substitutions. Each substitution was expressed independently by site-directed mutagenesis and again analyzed for uPA inhibitory activity and vitronectin binding. Five point mutations that selectively disrupt vitronectin binding were identified. All 5 residues are located on the exterior of the PAI-1 structure. These findings appear to define a complex binding surface that bridges alpha-helices C and E to beta-strand 1A and includes amino acids 55, 109, 110, 116, and 123. These results suggest that vitronectin binding may stabilize the active conformation of PAI-1 by restricting the movement of beta-sheet A and thereby preventing insertion of the reactive center loop.

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