Inhibition of plasmin, urokinase, tissue plasminogen activator, and C(1S) by a myxoma virus serine proteinase inhibitor

D. A. Lomas, D. L. Evans, C. Upton, G. McFadden, R. W. Carrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


The myxoma and malignant rabbit fibroma poxviruses are lethal tumorigenic viruses of rabbits whose virulence is modulated by the production of a virus- encoded secreted serine proteinase inhibitor, SERP-1. This viral protein was detected in medium harvested from myxoma and malignant rabbit fibroma virus- infected cells, and its inhibitory profile has been characterized by gel and kinetic analysis. SERP-1 forms complexes with and inhibits the human fibrinolytic enzymes plasmin, urokinase, and two-chain tissue-type plasminogen activator (association rate constants 3.4 x 104, 4.3 x 104, and 3.6 x 104 M-1 s-1 respectively). It is also able to inhibit C(1S), the first enzyme in the complement cascade with an association rate constant which was unaffected by the addition of heparin (1.3 x 103 M-1 s-1). SERP-1 acts as a substrate for and is cleaved by thrombin, porcine trypsin, human neutrophil elastase, porcine pancreatic elastase, thermolysin, subtilisin, bovine α-chymotrypsin, and factor Xa. Incubation with kallikrein and cathepsin G had no effect. The structure of SERP-1 has been modeled on other members of the serpin family which revealed the characteristic serpin architecture apart from the absence of the D-helix. Structural analysis and kinetic assays demonstrate that the absence of this region does not prevent inhibitory activity and furthermore allow the identification of cysteine residues involved in internal and intermolecular disulfide bonding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-521
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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