Human plasma alpha1 proteinase inhibitor is the body's principal modulator of serine proteinases (such as those released from phagocytic cells). Cysteine-active-site proteinases, which are not inhibited, have now been found to inactivate this important inhibitor by proteolytic cleavage of a scissile peptide bond. Papain carries out this inactivation catalytically, whereas cathepsin B1 acts stoicheiometrically. Thus thiol proteinases could easily disrupt the delicately regulated balance between serine proteinases and alpha1 proteinase inhibitor.
- © 1977 London: The Biochemical Society