, Volume 89, Issue 3, pp 265-269

Discovery of a genetic polymorphism of human plasma protein C inhibitor (PCI): genetic survey utilizing isoelectric focusing followed by immunoblotting, immunological and biochemical characterization

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The objectives of this study were to determine the genetic basis of the electrophoretic differences of human plasma protein C inhibitors (PCI) from 977 individuals. Three discrete antibodies were produced against the PCI purified from human plasma and peptides that corresponded to the N-terminal 15 amino acid residues and the C-terminal 15 residues of human PCI, the chemical structures of which were determined by cDNA sequence analysis. The combined techniques of polyacrylamide gel isoelectric focusing and immunoblotting with these three different antibodies resolved the plasma PCI into several isoprotein bands, with a pH range of 6–7. These PCI isoproteins, however, were not stained by anti-human kallikrein, anti-human protein C or anti-human urokinase antibodies. Therefore, each of the PCI bands, which were detected by immunoblotting with the anti-PCI antibody and the two different anti-peptide antibodies, were derived from free PCI, and not an inactive PCI species. Two common phenotypes, designated PCI 1 and 1–2, were recognized, and family studies showed that they represented homozygosity or heterozygosity for two autosomal codominant alleles, PCI *1 and PCI *2. A population study of plasma samples collected from 977 Japanese individuals indicated that the frequencies of the PCI *1 and PCI *2 alleles were 0.988 and 0.012, respectively.