Document Type


Publication Date



Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and vitronectin are cofactors involved in pathological conditions such as injury, inflammation, and cancer, during which local levels of PAI-1 are increased and the active serpin forms complexes with vitronectin. These complexes become deposited into surrounding tissue matrices, where they regulate cell adhesion and pericellular proteolysis. The mechanism for their co-localization has not been elucidated. We hypothesize that PAI-1-vitronectin complexes form in a stepwise and concentration-dependent fashion via 1:1 and 2:1 intermediates, with the 2:1 complex serving a key role in assembly of higher order complexes. To test this hypothesis, sedimentation velocity experiments in the analytical ultracentrifuge were performed to identify different PAI-1-vitronectin complexes. Analysis of sedimentation data invoked a novel multisignal method to discern the stoichiometry of the two proteins in the higher-order complexes formed (Balbo, A., Minor, K. H., Velikovsky, C. A., Mariuzza, R. A., Peterson, C. B., and Schuck, P. (2005) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 102, 81-86). Our results demonstrate that PAI-1 and vitronectin assemble into higher order forms via a pathway that is triggered upon saturation of the two PAI-1-binding sites of vitronectin to form the 2:1 complex. This 2:1 PAI-1-vitronectin complex, with a sedimentation coefficient of 6.5 S, is the key intermediate for the assembly of higher order complexes.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Journal of Biological Chemistry

First Page


Last Page