Molecular evolution of serpins: homologous structure of the human alpha 1-antichymotrypsin and alpha 1-antitrypsin genes

Biochemistry. 1987 Dec 1;26(24):7755-9. doi: 10.1021/bi00398a033.


alpha 1-Antichymotrypsin belongs to a supergene family that includes alpha 1-antitrypsin, antithrombin III, ovalbumin, and angiotensinogen. The human chromosomal alpha 1-antichymotrypsin gene has been cloned and its molecular structure established. The gene is approximately 12 kb in length and contains five exons and four introns. The locations of the introns within the alpha 1-antichymotrypsin gene are identical with those of the human alpha 1-antitrypsin and angiotensinogen genes. Other members of this supergene family contain introns located at nonhomologous positions of the genes. The homologous organization of the alpha 1-antichymotrypsin and alpha 1-antitrypsin genes corresponds with the high degree of homology between their protein sequences and suggests that these loci arose by recent gene duplication. A model is presented for the evolution of both the genomic structure and the protein sequences of the serine protease inhibitor superfamily.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Genes*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Species Specificity
  • alpha 1-Antichymotrypsin / genetics*
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin / genetics*


  • alpha 1-Antichymotrypsin
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M18035