The structure of a Michaelis serpin-protease complex

Sheng Ye, Amy L. Cech, Ricardo Belmares, Robert C. Bergstrom, Youren Tong, David R. Corey, Michael R. Kanost, Elizabeth J. Goldsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Serine protease inhibitors (serpins) regulate the activities of circulating proteases. Serpins inhibit proteases by acylating the serine hydroxyl at their active sites. Before deacylation and complete proteolysis of the serpin can occur, massive conformational changes are triggered in the serpin while maintaining the covalent linkage between the protease and serpin. Here we report the structure of a serpin-trypsin Michaelis complex, which we visualized by using the S195A trypsin mutant to prevent covalent complex formation. This encounter complex reveals a more extensive interaction surface than that present in small inhibitor-protease complexes and is a template for modeling other serpin-protease pairs. Mutations of several serpin residues at the interface reduced the inhibitory activity of the serpin. The serine residue C-terminal to the scissile peptide bond is found in a closer than usual interaction with His 57 at the active site of trypsin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-983
Number of pages5
JournalNature Structural Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics


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