Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 1, 2005

Novel Secretory Vesicle Serpins, Endopin 1 and Endopin 2: Endogenous Protease Inhibitors with Distinct Target Protease Specificities

V. Y. H. Hook and S.-R. Hwang
From the journal


Secretory vesicles of neuroendocrine cells possess multiple proteases for proteolytic processing of proteins into biologically active peptide components, such as peptide hormones and neurotransmitters. The importance of proteases within secretory vesicles predicts the presence of endogenous protease inhibitors in this subcellular compartment. Notably, serpins represent a diverse class of endogenous protease inhibitors that possess selective target protease specificities, defined by the reactive site loop domains (RSL). In the search for endogenous serpins in model secretory vesicles of neuroendocrine chromaffin cells, the presence of serpins related to α1-antichymotrypsin (ACT) was detected by Western blots with antiACT. Molecular cloning revealed the primary structures of two unique serpins, endopin 1 and endopin 2, that possess homology to ACT. Of particular interest was the observation that distinct RSL domains of these new serpins predicted that endopin 1 would inhibit trypsinlike serine proteases cleaving at basic residues, and endopin 2 would inhibit both elastase and papain that represent serine and cysteine proteases, respectively. Endopin 1 showed selective inhibition of trypsin, but did not inhibit chymotrypsin, elastase, or subtilisin. Endopin 2 demonstrated crossclass inhibition of the cysteine protease papain and the serine protease elastase. Endopin 2 did not inhibit chymotrypsin, trypsin, plasmin, thrombin, furin, or cathepsin B. Endopin 1 and endopin 2 each formed SDSstable complexes with target proteases, a characteristic property of serpins. In neuroendocrine chromaffin cells from adrenal medulla, endopin 1 and endopin 2 were both localized to secretory vesicles. Moreover, the inhibitory activity of endopin 2 was optimized under reducing conditions, which required reduced Cys-374; this property is consistent with the presence of endogenous reducing agents in secretory vesicles in vivo. These new findings demonstrate the presence of unique secretory vesicle serpins, endopin 1 and endopin 2, which possess distinct target protease selectivities. Endopin 1 inhibits trypsinlike proteases; endopin 2 possesses crossclass inhibition for inhibition of papainlike cysteine proteases and elastaselike serine proteases. It will be of interest in future studies to define the endogenous protease targets of these two novel secretory vesicle serpins.

Published Online: 2005-06-01
Published in Print: 2002-08-27

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