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J Gen Physiol. 1949 Nov;33(2):103-24.

Proteolytic enzymes; further studies on protein, polypeptide, and other inhibitors of serum proteinase, leucoproteinase, trypsin, and papain.


1. Serum proteinase precursor was found in plasma protein fractions I and III of Cohn. Inhibitors of serum proteinase, leucoproteinase, trypsin, and papain were found in fractions IV-1 and IV-4, and to a lesser extent in fractions V and I. 2. Pancreatic, soy bean, lima bean, and egg white inhibitors inhibited trypsin stoichiometrically. Pancreatic inhibitor had comparable inhibitory activity against serum proteinase; soy bean inhibitor had somewhat less, lima bean inhibitor even less, and egg white inhibitor very little. None of these inhibitors appreciably inhibited leucoproteinase or papain. 3. Serum and fractions IV - 1 and IV - 4 had marked inhibitory activity against trypsin and leucoproteinase, and somewhat less against serum proteinase and papain. The inhibitory activity of the plasma proteins against trypsin and leucoproteinase was due almost entirely to fractions IV - 1 and IV - 4; against serum proteinase and papain fraction V was slightly more important. The "reconstituted plasma proteins" accounted for 8 to 25 per cent of the proteinase-inhibitory activity of whole serum or plasma. 4. The proteinase-inhibitory activity of serum, plasma protein fractions, and soy bean inhibitor was heat labile, while that of pancreatic, lima bean, and egg white inhibitors was relatively heat stable. 5. Reducing and oxidizing agents, in very high concentration, inhibited serum proteinase, as well as trypsin and leucoproteinase. These proteinases were not influenced by mercurial sulfhydryl inhibitors, indicating that free sulfhydryl groups do not play an important part in their activity.

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