1998 Volume 21 Issue 7 Pages 651-656
Urinary trypsin inhibitor (UTI) is a physiological protease inhibitor and inter-α-trypsin inhibitor (ITI) is regarded as a precursor of UTI. The purpose of this study is to determine the mechanism of the UTI release from ITI. To examine this, ITI was digested by human neutrophil elastase at various concentrations, and UIT-related proteins which were of the same size as UTI were obtained. The amino acid sequence of the 15 amino acid residues at the N-terminal of UTI-related proteins, corresponded to that of UTI. The amino acid sequences of the small amount of peptides detected corresponded to those of peptides from the heavy chain1 (H1) and the heavy chain2 (H2) of ITI, suggesting that most UTI-related proteins do not combine with peptides from the H1 and H2 of ITI. It was also revealed that UTI-related proteins have several physiological activities similar to those of UTI, i.e., human trypsin inhibitory activity, human neutrophil elastase inhibitory activity, inhibition o tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production from rat macrophages and of superoxide from rabbit leukocytes.These results demonstrated that ITI is a precursor of UTI which is digested by human neutrophil elastase to release UTI, and that its elastase inhibitory activity is derived from UTI.