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FEBS Lett. 1998 Apr 10;426(1):41-6.

Serpin-like properties of alpha1-antitrypsin Portland towards furin convertase.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, Que., Canada.


Recent studies have demonstrated that a serpin variant, alpha1-antitrypsin Portland (AT-PDX), can inhibit the mammalian convertase furin. Here, we examine the mechanism by which this inhibition takes place. We find that furin, which does not belong to the trypsin-like serine protease family, the usual targets of serpins, forms an SDS-heat denaturation-resistant complex with AT-PDX both in vitro and in vivo. AT-PDX inhibited furin with an association rate constant (k(ass)) of 1.5 x 10(6) M(-1) s(-1) which is similar to k(ass) values reported for serpins with trypsin-like enzymes. These results illustrate that AT can be modified to act essentially as a suicide inhibitor of furin, an enzyme of the subtilase superfamily of serine proteases.

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