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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board Member: Buchner, Johannes / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

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Purification and characterisation of blarinasin, a new tissue kallikrein-like protease from the short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda: comparative studies with blarina toxin

Masaki Kita1 / Yuushi Okumura2 / Satoshi D. Ohdachi3 / Yuichi Oba4 / Michiyasu Yoshikuni5 / Yasuo Nakamura6 / Hiroshi Kido7 / Daisuke Uemura8









Corresponding author

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry. Volume 386, Issue 2, Pages 177–182, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: 10.1515/BC.2005.022, June 2005

Publication History

October 11, 2004
December 15, 2004
Published Online:


A new tissue kallikrein-like protease, blarinasin, has been purified from the salivary glands of the short-tailed shrew Blarina brevicauda. Blarinasin is a 32-kDa N-glycosylated protease with isoelectric values ranging between 5.3 and 5.7, and an optimum pH of 8.5 for enzyme activity. The cloned blarinasin cDNA coded for a pre-pro-sequence and a mature peptide of 252 amino acids with a catalytic triad typical for serine proteases and 43.7–54.0% identity to other mammalian tissue kallikreins. Blarinasin preferentially hydrolysed Pro-Phe-Arg-4-methylcoumaryl-7-amide (MCA) and N-tert-butyloxycarbonyl-Val-Leu-Lys-MCA, and preferentially converted human high-molecular-weight kininogen (HK) to bradykinin. The activity of blarinasin was prominently inhibited by aprotinin (K i=3.4 nM). A similar kallikrein-like protease, the lethal venom blarina toxin, has previously been purified from the salivary glands of the shrew Blarina and shows 67.9% identity to blarinasin. However, blarinasin was not toxic in mice. Blarinasin is a very abundant kallikrein-like protease and represents 70–75% of kallikrein-like enzymes in the salivary gland of B. brevicauda.

Keywords: amino acid sequence analysis; blarina toxin; blarinasin; salivary glands; short-tailed shrew; tissue kallikrein

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