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Hermann, Andrea; Arnhold, Marianne; Kresse, Hans; Neth, Peter; Fink, Edwin (1999): Expression of plasma prekallikrein mRNA in human nonhepatic tissues and cell lineages suggests special local functions of the enzyme. In: Biological Chemistry, Vol. 380, No. 9: pp. 1097-1102


At present it is generally accepted that plasma prekallikrein (PPK) is synthesized in the liver and secreted into the bloodstream. Surprisingly, it has recently been shown that PPK mRNA is present also in RNA from the kidney, adrenal gland and placenta. In spite of its novelty and possible important physiological implications this finding has been neglected. Here we report that PPK mRNA is expressed also in the human brain, heart, lung, trachea, endothelial cells and leukocytes as well as in a variety of fibroblast and epithelial cell lines. Expression of PPK mRNA in fibroblasts, endothelial cells and leukocytes suggests that PPK mRNA detected in RNA preparations from whole tissue may originate solely from these ubiquitously occurring cells. However, PPK mRNA expression in various epithelial cell lines demonstrates that tissue-specific cells also transcribe the PPK gene. The presence of PPK mRNA in nonhepatic tissues and cells indicates that they have the capacity to synthesize the protein. The physiological role of PPK synthesized in extrahepatic tissue is unknown. It may participate in local actions within tissues as well as contributing to the PPK pool in blood plasma. Cultured cells will provide a valuable model for exploring the physiological significance of extrahepatic PPK expression.