A family of serine proteinase inhibitors which are similar in amino acid sequence and mechanism of inhibition, but differ in their specificity toward proteolytic enzymes. This family includes alpha 1-antitrypsin, angiotensinogen, ovalbumin, antiplasmin, alpha 1-antichymotrypsin, thyroxine-binding protein, complement 1 inactivators, antithrombin III, heparin cofactor II, plasminogen inactivators, gene Y protein, placental plasminogen activator inhibitor, and barley Z protein. Some members of the serpin family may be substrates rather than inhibitors of SERINE ENDOPEPTIDASES, and some serpins occur in plants where their function is not known.
Irreversible serine proteinase inhibitors that exert their action on peptidases. Serpins can be localized inside, or outside of the cell, and are found in all groups of organisms with the exception of fungi. In human plasma, serpins represent approximately 2% of the total protein present.