Published January 1, 1981 - More info
Proteolytic enzymes are associated with normal and neoplastic tissues. Therefore protease inhibitors might also be involved in the control of cell function. alpha 1-protease antigen and antitryptic activity have been found in normal and neoplastic human ovarian homogenate. The inhibitor has been localized to ovarian stromal cells or tumor cells by immunoperoxidase staining. The protein was purified to apparent homogeneity as judged by alkaline gel and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) gel electrophoresis. Immunochemical studies revealed antigenic similarity of plasma alpha 1-protease inhibitor by double immunodiffusion and similar mobility on immunoelectrophoresis and two-dimensional electroimmunodiffusion. The molecular weight was similar to that described for plasma alpha 1-protease inhibitor: 60,000 by gel filtration and 53,500 by SDS electrophoresis. Furthermore, the phenotypic pattern as determined by acid starch gel electrophoresis and immunoprecipitation was PiMM, which is the predominant genetic variant in normal plasma alpha 1-protease inhibitor. An inhibitor ws isolated and purified from an ovarian carcinoma that exhibited functional, immunochemical, and physical similarity to the normal ovarian alpha 1-protease inhibitor. alpha 1-protease inhibitor from normal and malignant ovaries competitively inhibited bovine pancreatic trypsin at incubation times of 5 min at 30 degrees C. Inhibition constant (Ki) values were calculated at 0.67 and 0.51 inhibitory units, respectively. The alpha 1-protease inhibitor in malignant cells may be a factor in the control of proliferation in this tissue. Since ovulation is in part a proteolytic event, the alpha 1-protease inhibitor in ovarian cells may play a role in the control of this specialized tissue. Persistance of this protein in malignant ovarian tissue may be a vestige of its differentiated origin.