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J Biol Chem. 1989 Apr 5;264(10):5495-502.

Structure of the gene for human plasminogen activator inhibitor-2. The nearest mammalian homologue of chicken ovalbumin.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute Laboratories, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri 63110.


Plasminogen activator inhibitor-2 (PAI-2) can regulate the formation of plasmin by inhibiting urokinase and tissue plasminogen activator. PAI-2 is induced in monocytes and endothelium by inflammatory mediators, and it is made in the placenta during pregnancy. PAI-2 is a member of the serine protease inhibitor gene family, and it is particularly similar to chicken ovalbumin. Like ovalbumin, PAI-2 is secreted without cleavage of a signal peptide. To determine the structure of the PAI-2 gene, two bacteriophage lambda human genomic DNA libraries were screened with PAI-2 cDNA probes. Characterization of three positive clones shows that the human PAI-2 gene spans 16.5 kilobases and has eight exons. The 5'-untranslated sequence of the PAI-2 mRNA is 77 base pairs in length as suggested by primer extension and S1 nuclease mapping. The eukaryotic consensus sequence TATAAAA is found 22 base pairs 5' of the proposed cap site. The PAI-2 gene is on chromosome 18q21-23 as determined by hybridization to flow-sorted chromosomes and by in situ hybridization. There appear to be two common PAI-2 alleles that differ by six nucleotides in exons 1, 4, and 8. The structure of the PAI-2 gene is quite different from that of PAI-1 although these two inhibitors have common target protease specificity. In contrast, the structure of the PAI-2 gene is very similar to that of the chicken ovalbumin gene. When protein sequences are aligned to obtain maximal identity, six of the seven intron positions in the PAI-2 gene are identical to those in the chicken ovalbumin gene. We conclude that PAI-2 is the closest mammalian homologue of avian ovalbumin.

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