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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Molecular cloning, expression, and partial characterization of two novel members of the ovalbumin family of serine proteinase inhibitors.

A human placental lambda gt11 cDNA library was screened for sequences encoding proteins related to human proteinase inhibitor 6 (PI6), and two plaques were identified that displayed weak hybridization at high stringency. Isolation and characterization of the DNA inserts revealed two novel sequences encoding proteins composed of 376 and 374 amino acids with predicted molecular masses of approximately 42 kDa. The novel proteins displayed all of the structural features unique to the ovalbumin family of intracellular serpins including the apparent absence of a cleavable N-terminal signal sequence. The degree of amino acid sequence identity between the novel serpins and PI6 (63-68%) significantly exceeds that of any other combination of known intracellular serpins. The two novel serpins encoded by the two novel cDNA sequences have been designated as proteinase inhibitor 8 (PI8) and proteinase inhibitor 9 (PI9). The putative reactive center P1-P1' residues for PI8 and PI9 were identified as Arg339-Cys340 and Glu340-Cys341, respectively. PI9 appears to be unique in that it is the first human serpin identified with an acidic residue in the reactive center P1 position. In addition, the reactive center loop of PI9 exhibits 54% identity with residues found in the reactive center loop of the cowpox virus CrmA serpin. Two PI8 transcripts of 1.4 kilobases (kb) and 3.8 kb were detected by Northern analysis in equal and greatest abundance in liver and lung, while the 1.4-kb mRNA was in excess over the 3.8-kb mRNA in skeletal muscle and heart. Two PI9 transcripts of 3.4 and 4.4 kb were detected in equal and greatest abundance in lung and placenta and were weakly detected in all other tissues. PI8 and PI9 were expressed in baby hamster kidney and yeast cells, respectively. Immunoblot analyses using rabbit anti-PI6 IgG indicated the presence of PI8 in the cytosolic fraction of stably transfected cells that formed an SDS-stable 67-kDa complex with human thrombin. PI9 was purified to homogeneity from the yeast cell lysate by a combination of heparin-agarose chromatography and Mono Q fast protein liquid chromatography and migrated as a single band in SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with an apparent molecular mass of 42 kDa. Purified recombinant PI9 failed to inhibit the amidolytic activities of trypsin, papain, thrombin, or Staphylococcus aureus endoproteinase Glu-C and did not form an SDS-stable complex when incubated with thrombin. The cognate intracellular proteinases that interact with PI8 and PI9 are unknown.[1]


  1. Molecular cloning, expression, and partial characterization of two novel members of the ovalbumin family of serine proteinase inhibitors. Sprecher, C.A., Morgenstern, K.A., Mathewes, S., Dahlen, J.R., Schrader, S.K., Foster, D.C., Kisiel, W. J. Biol. Chem. (1995) [Pubmed]
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