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J Immunol. 1997 Jul 15;159(2):983-8.

Role of the P2 residue of complement 1 inhibitor (Ala443) in determination of target protease specificity: inhibition of complement and contact system proteases.

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  • 1Children's Hospital Research Foundation, and Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, OH 45229, USA.


A dysfunctional C1 inhibitor (C1 INH) from a family in whom the propositus presented with systemic lupus erythematosus but without angioedema previously was shown to have diminished inhibitory activity toward isolated C1r and C1s, and intact C1. The mutation was identified as replacement of Ala443 (P2) with Val. This study further analyzed the reactivity of this mutant and characterized two mutants with Ser or Asp at this position. Ser at P2 does not interfere with binding of target proteases. However, the mutant with Asp at this position is unable to bind C1r and beta factor XIIa, and also has a decreased rate of reaction with C1s and kallikrein. Therefore, alteration of polarity alone had no effect on binding, while a bulky and/or charged side chain was not tolerated. Although defective in inhibition of C1r and C1s, the P2 A-->V mutant had acquired the ability to complex with trypsin. It also completely retained the ability to complex with kallikrein and factor XIIa. None of the 10 individuals expressing this mutant protein has ever had angioedema. This observation, combined with normal inhibition of contact system proteases and defective inhibition of complement proteases, suggests that angioedema is caused by bradykinin generated from contact system activation.

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