The novel bovine serpin endopin 2C demonstrates selective inhibition of the cysteine protease cathepsin L compared to the serine protease elastase, in cross-class inhibition

Biochemistry. 2005 May 31;44(21):7757-67. doi: 10.1021/bi050053z.


Molecular cloning revealed the unique serpin endopin 2C that demonstrates selective inhibition of cathepsin L compared to papain or elastase. Endopin 2C, thus, functions as a serpin with the property of cross-class inhibition. Endopin 2C possesses homology in primary sequence to endopin 2A and other isoforms of endopins related to alpha1-antichymotrypsin, yet endopin 2C differs in its target protease specificity. Recombinant endopin 2C showed effective inhibition of cathepsin L with a stoichiometry of inhibition (SI) of 1/1 (molar ratio of inhibitor/protease), with the second-order rate constant, k(ass), of 7.2 x 10(5) M(-1) s(-1). Less effective endopin 2C inhibition of papain and elastase occurred with k(ass) association rate constants of approximately 1 x 10(4) M(-1) s(-1) with high SI values. Endopin 2C formed SDS-stable complexes with cathepsin L, papain, and elastase that are typical of serpins. These results are among the first to demonstrate stable serpin complexes with target cysteine proteases. Interactions of endopin 2C with cathepsin L and elastase were indicated by protease cleavage of the RSL region between P1-P1' residues of Thr-Ser. The hydrophobic Phe residue in the P2 position of the RSL region is consistent with the specificity of cathepsin L for hydrophobic residues in the P2 position of its substrate cleavage site. The NH2-terminal signal sequence of endopin 2C, like that of cathepsin L, predicts their colocalization to subcellular organelles. These findings demonstrate endopin 2C as a novel serpin that possesses cross-class inhibition with selectivity for inhibition of cathepsin L.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Cathepsin L
  • Cathepsins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cathepsins / metabolism
  • Cattle
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors / biosynthesis
  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors / genetics
  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors / isolation & purification
  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrolysis
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multiprotein Complexes / chemistry
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Elastase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Pancreatic Elastase / metabolism
  • Papain / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Papain / metabolism
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry
  • Protein Isoforms / physiology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors / physiology*
  • Serpins / biosynthesis
  • Serpins / genetics
  • Serpins / isolation & purification
  • Serpins / physiology*
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Serine Proteinase Inhibitors
  • Serpins
  • endopin 2
  • Cathepsins
  • Pancreatic Elastase
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • CTSL protein, human
  • Cathepsin L
  • Papain

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY874863