Purification and characterization of Manduca sexta serpin-6: a serine proteinase inhibitor that selectively inhibits prophenoloxidase-activating proteinase-3.Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2004 Apr; 34(4):387-95.IB
The proteolytic activation of prophenoloxidase (proPO) is a critical defense mechanism in insects and crustaceans. We have isolated three prophenoloxidase-activating proteinases (PAPs) from cuticular extracts or hemolymph of Manduca sexta pharate pupae, which are negatively regulated by serpin-1J and serpin-3. To test if other serpins may also inhibit the PAPs, we fractionated the induced hemolymph by ammonium sulfate precipitation, gel filtration, and lectin affinity chromatography. A 47 kDa protein, designated M. sexta serpin-6, was identified in concanavalin A-bound fractions, which formed an SDS-stable complex with PAP-3. This inhibitor, not recognized by the serpin-1 or serpin-3 antibodies, was further purified on HPLC anion exchange and hydroxylapatite columns. The molecular mass and isoelectric point of serpin-6 were found to be 46,710 +/- 10 Da and 5.4. While its amino terminus was blocked, we obtained five internal peptide sequences, one of which is highly similar to M. sexta serpins-1, -2, and -3. Serpin-6 strongly inhibited PAP-3 but not PAP-1 or PAP-2, suggesting that the proPO activation by PAPs is differentially regulated by multiple serpins. When included in the reaction mixture containing proPO, PAP-3, and its cofactor, serpin-6 efficiently blocked the cleavage activation of proPO.