Author(s): Schapira M, Scott CF, Colman RW
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Abstract Although Cl-inhibitor (Cl-INH) and alpha(2)-macroglobulin (alpha(2)M) have been reported as the major inhibitors of plasma kallikrein in normal plasma, there is little quantitative support for this conclusion. Thus, we studied the inactivation of purified kallikrein in normal plasma, as well as in plasma congenitally deficient in Cl-INH, or artificially depleted of alpha(2)M by chemical modification of the inhibitor with methylamine. Under pseudo-first-order conditions, the inactivation rate constant of kallikrein in normal plasma was 0.60 min(-1). This rate constant was reduced to 0.35, 0.30, and 0.06 min(-1), in plasma deficient respectively in Cl-INH, alpha(2)M, or both inhibitors. Thus Cl-INH (42\%) and alpha(2)M (50\%) were found to be the major inhibitors of kallikrein in normal plasma. Moreover all the other protease inhibitors present in normal plasma contributed only for 8\% to the inactivation of the enzyme. To confirm these kinetic results, (125)I-kallikrein (M(r) 85,000) was completely inactivated by various plasma samples, and the resulting mixtures were analyzed by gel filtration on Sepharose 6B CL for the appearance of (125)I-kallikrein-inhibitor complexes. After inactivation by normal plasma, 52\% of the active enzyme were found to form a complex (M(r) 370,000) with Cl-INH, while 48\% formed a complex (M(r) 850,000) with alpha(2)M. After inactivation by Cl-INH-deficient plasma, >90\% of the active (125)I-kallikrein was associated with alpha(2)M. A similar proportion of the label was associated with Cl-INH in plasma deficient in alpha(2)M. After inactivation by plasma deficient in both Cl-INH and alpha(2)M, (125)I-kallikrein was found to form a complex of M(r) 185,000. This latter complex, which may involve antithrombin III, alpha(1)-protease inhibitor, and/or alpha(1)-plasmin inhibitor, was not detectable in appreciable concentrations in the presence of either Cl-INH or alpha(2)M, even after the addition of heparin (2 U/ml). These observations demonstrate that Cl-INH and alpha(2)M are the only significant inhibitors of kallikrein in normal plasma confirming previous predictions based on experiments in purified systems. Moreover, in the absence of either Cl-INH or alpha(2)M, the inactivation of kallikrein becomes almost entirely dependent on the other major inhibitor.
This article was published in J Clin Invest
and referenced in Journal of Hematology & Thromboembolic Diseases