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J Biol Chem. 1993 Oct 15;268(29):21560-8.

Isolation and characterization of an intracellular serine proteinase inhibitor from a monkey kidney epithelial cell line.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87131.


A recent report described a thrombin inhibitory activity in the soluble fraction of human placenta and the cytosolic fraction of K562 cells. Isolation and characterization of the functionally inactive 35-38-kDa placental form of this protein revealed that it was a novel serine proteinase inhibitor (Coughlin, P. B., Tetaz, T., and Salem, H. H. (1993) J. Biol. Chem. 268, 9541-9547). In the present study, we observed a 67-kDa sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-stable complex when 125I-thrombin was incubated with the cytosolic fraction of a monkey kidney epithelial cell line, BSC-1. This complex was not observed in either the particulate cell fraction extracted with 0.2% Triton X-100 or medium conditioned by cells, suggesting that the thrombin-complexing factor is confined to the cytoplasm. The cytoplasmic antithrombin activity was purified to apparent homogeneity from the cytosol of BSC-1 cells previously pulsed with [35S]methionine by a combination of heparin-agarose chromatography, Mono Q fast protein liquid chromatography, and anhydrotrypsin-Affi-Gel 10 affinity chromatography. Analysis of the affinity-purified preparation by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and fluorography revealed a single protein with an apparent molecular mass of 38 kDa. The purified 38-kDa protein inhibited the amidolytic activities of thrombin, trypsin, urokinase, and factor Xa but not that of elastase. Incubation of the 38-kDa protein with excess thrombin identified approximately 60% of the labeled 38-kDa protein in an SDS-stable 67-kDa complex. The purified 38-kDa inhibitor was cleaved with cyanogen bromide and the isolated peptides subjected to microsequencing. Amino acid sequence obtained for a region within this protein exhibited significant homology with human antithrombin III and plasminogen activator inhibitors 1 and 2. This homologous peptide contained the full complement of residues designated as highly conserved in helix F of the greater serine proteinase inhibitor superfamily. In addition, an internal sequence of GGGGDIHQGF was found in the monkey cytoplasmic inhibitor, which is identical to that reported for an internal sequence of the human placental inhibitor. These findings confirm the existence of a novel cytoplasmic serine proteinase inhibitor in mammalian cells and provide additional details of its molecular properties. The physiological function of this novel serine proteinase inhibitor in cytoplasm is unknown.

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