The serine protease, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), its protein substrates, semenogelin (Sg) I and II, and protein C inhibitor (PCI) have been described as components of human seminal plasma. PCI was found to inhibit the PSA-catalyzed degradation of insoluble coagula Sg I + II by forming a PSA-PCI complex. Digestion of seminal coagula with PSA released PCI and PSA-PCI complex from the coagula into a soluble phase, suggesting the presence of active PCI binding to the coagula. To investigate the molecular interaction of Sg with PSA and PCI, we purified Sg II from seminal coagula as a soluble form and found that Sg II is glycosylated with heterogeneous carbohydrate moieties. Sg II bound to the solid-phase complex of diisopropylfluorophosphate (iPr2FP) and PSA with an apparent dissociation constant (kd) of 41 nM and to PCI with a Kd of 28 nM. The binding of Sg II to iPr2P-PSA was not affected by PCI and that of Sg II to PCI was not affected by iPr2P-PSA, suggesting that Sg II forms a ternary complex with PSA and PCI. The bindings of Sg II to both iPr2P-PSA and PCI were influenced by pH, ionic strength, heparin, dextran sulfate, and divalent cations, particularly by Zn2+. Treatment of Sg II with heparinase, heparitinase, N-glycanase, or with O-glycanase following sialidase did not affect the binding of Sg II to iPr2P-PSA and PCI. These findings suggested that PCI bound to Sg in seminal vesicles regulates the PSA-catalyzed degradation of Sg in seminal plasma, and that the binding of PCI and PSA to Sg is modulated by several factors such as pH, ionic strength, divalent cations, and heparin-like substances in seminal plasma.
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