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J Biol Chem. 1989 Feb 25;264(6):3066-71.

CpG mutations in the reactive site of human C1 inhibitor.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology/Immunology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140.


C1 inhibitor plays an important role in the regulation of vascular permeability through its ability to inactivate enzymes which release polypeptide kinins. Dysfunctional C1 inhibitor molecules are present in the plasma of affected members of the Da and Ri hereditary angioneurotic edema kindreds. We constructed genomic libraries from Da and Ri patient DNAs which had been cleaved with BclI to generate a fragment containing 21 kilobases of the C1 inhibitor locus. C1 inhibitor gene-containing recombinants originating from mutant Da and Ri alleles were differentiated from those derived from normal alleles by linkage analysis using the intragenic HgiAI restriction fragment length polymorphism. Nucleotide sequencing of the complete protein-coding regions of the mutant alleles identified two different mutations in a CpG dinucleotide corresponding to the first two bases of arginine codon 444. These single base mutations changed the identity of the functionally critical P1 reactive site residue from arginine to cysteine (Da) or histidine (Ri). The additional cysteine residue in C1 inhibitor Da suggests how it is covalently bound to albumin in plasma. The presence of CpG dinucleotides in the codons specifying the P1 arginines of C1 inhibitor and antithrombin III explains the high incidence of histidine and cysteine substitutions observed among dysfunctional mutants of these serine protease inhibitors.

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