In vivo metabolism of inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor and its proteinase complexes: evidence for proteinase transfer to alpha 2-macroglobulin and alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor.
Inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor was purified by a modification of published procedures which involved fewer steps and resulted in higher yields. The preparation was used to study the clearance of the inhibitor and its complex with trypsin from the plasma of mice and to examine degradation of the inhibitor in vivo. Unlike other plasma proteinase inhibitor-proteinase complexes, inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor reacted with trypsin did not clear faster than the unreacted inhibitor. Studies using 125I-trypsin provided evidence for the dissociation of complexes of proteinase and inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor in vivo, followed by rapid removal of proteinase by other plasma proteinase inhibitors, particularly alpha 2-macroglobulin and alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor. Studies in vitro also demonstrated the transfer of trypsin from inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor to alpha 2-macroglobulin and alpha 1-proteinase inhibitor but at a much slower rate. The clearance of unreacted 125I-inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor was characterized by a half-life ranging from 30 min to more than 1 h. Murine and human inhibitors exhibited identical behavior. Multiphasic clearance of the inhibitor was not due to degradation, aggregation, or carbohydrate heterogeneity, as shown by competition studies with asialoorosomucoid and macroalbumin, but was probably a result of extravascular distribution or endothelial binding. 125I-inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor cleared primarily in the liver. Analysis of liver and kidney tissue by gel filtration chromatography and sodium dodecyl sulfate gel electrophoresis showed internalization and limited degradation of 125I-inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor in these tissues. No evidence for the production of smaller proteinase inhibitors from 125I-inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor injected intravenously or intraperitoneally was detected, even in casein-induced peritoneal inflammation. No species of molecular weight similar to that of urinary proteinase inhibitors, 19,000-70,000, appeared in plasma, liver, kidney, or urine following injection of inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor.
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