Author(s): Levin EG, Santell L
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Abstract The plasminogen activator inhibitor from human endothelial cells (PAI-1) exists in two forms in the culture medium: an active form that binds to and inactivates plasminogen activators and a latent form that in its native state has no anti-activator activity. Inhibitor activity associated with the latent form can be generated by treatment with protein denaturants and makes up more than 98\% of the total inhibitor activity in conditioned medium. Plasminogen activator inhibitor activity is also found in cell cytosol. This inhibitor activity is stable to SDS-treatment but is not enhanced by it. We investigated the relationship between this active cell-associated inhibitor and the latent PAI-1 found in the conditioned medium. Both intracellular and extracellular inhibitors were immunoprecipitated by a monoclonal antibody produced against the latent inhibitor from HT1080 fibrosarcoma cells and electrophoresis on SDS gels of various acrylamide concentrations demonstrated that both forms had the same Mr. Incubation of cytosol inhibitor at 37 degrees C resulted in a decline in inhibitor activity with a half-life of approximately 4 hours, a rate of decline similar to that of the active PAI-1 in conditioned medium, with less than 10\% of the original activity present after eight hours. This decline is accelerated at higher temperatures and is not affected by the presence of a variety of protease inhibitors. Approximately 90\% of the activity can be regenerated after SDS treatment suggesting that the cell associated inhibitor, during incubation at 37 degrees C, converts to a form similar to that found in conditioned medium. Despite these similarities, the apparent Stoke's radii of the active intracellular inhibitor and the latent inhibitor in conditioned medium were significantly different with values of 2.77 nm and 2.40 nm for active and latent PAI-1, respectively. Incubation of the active form at 37 degrees C resulted in the shift of the Stoke's radius to that similar to the latent PAI-1 (2.45 nm). Thus, the active and latent PAI-1, while being immunologically similar and of the same apparent Mr, can be differentiated by their behavior on gel permeation columns. This suggests that the intracellular inhibitor is a precursor to the latent form.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine