The specificity of serpin superfamily protease inhibitors such as alpha 1-antitrypsin or C1 inhibitor is determined by the amino acid residues of the inhibitor reactive center. To obtain an inhibitor that would be specific for the plasma kallikrein-kinin system enzymes, we have constructed an antitrypsin mutant having Arg at the reactive center P1 residue (position 358) and Ala at residue P2 (position 357). These modifications were made because C1 inhibitor, the major natural inhibitor of kallikrein and Factor XIIa, contains Arg at P1 and Ala at P2. In vitro, the novel inhibitor, alpha 1-antitrypsin Ala357 Arg358, was more efficient than C1 inhibitor for inhibiting kallikrein. Furthermore, Wistar rats pretreated with alpha 1-antitrypsin Ala357 Arg358 were partially protected from the circulatory collapse caused by the administration of beta-Factor XIIa.