Serp-1, a viral anti-inflammatory serpin, regulates cellular serine proteinase and serpin responses to vascular injury

Erbin Dai, Haiyan Guan, Liying Liu, Stephen Little, Grant McFadden, Sepideh Vaziri, Henian Cao, Iordanka A. Ivanova, Leila Bocksch, Alexandra Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Complex DNA viruses have tapped into cellular serpin responses that act as key regulatory steps in coagulation and inflammatory cascades. Serp-1 is one such viral serpin that effectively protects virus-infected tissues from host inflammatory responses. When given as purified protein, Serp-1 markedly inhibits vascular monocyte invasion and plaque growth in animal models. We have investigated mechanisms of viral serpin inhibition of vascular inflammatory responses. In vascular injury models, Serp-1 altered early cellular plasminogen activator (tissue plasminogen activator), inhibitor (PAI-1), and receptor (urokinase-type plasminogen activator) expression (p < 0.01). Serp-1, but not a reactive center loop mutant, up-regulated PAI-1 serpin expression in human endothelial cells. Treatment of endothelial cells with antibody to urokinase-type plasminogen activator and vitronectin blocked Serp-1-induced changes. Significantly, Serp-1 blocked intimal hyperplasia (p < 0.0001) after aortic allograft transplant (p < 0.0001) in PAI-1-deficient mice. Serp-1 also blocked plaque growth after aortic isograft transplant and after wire-induced injury (p < 0.05) in PAI-1-deficient mice indicating that increase in PAI-1 expression is not required for Serp-1 to block vasculopathy development. Serp-1 did not inhibit plaque growth in uPAR-deficient mice after aortic allograft transplant. We conclude that the poxviral serpin, Serp-1, attenuates vascular inflammatory responses to injury through a pathway mediated by native uPA receptors and vitronectin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18563-18572
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 16 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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