Denaturation of human plasmin in solutions of various pH levels was studied. The denaturation and loss of catalytic activity of plasmin in solutions of between pH 3.5 and 10.5 is a second-order kinetics. In alkaline solutions of pH levels >11.5, plasmin undergoes a first-order denaturation. The second-order denaturation of plasmin is mainly due to the autolytic reactions between plasmin molecules. Two autolytic processes of human plasmin in aqueous solution were observed. In a slightly acidic solution (pH 6.5) the light (B) chain was found to be cleaved faster than the heavy (A) chain of plasmin. On the other hand, the heavy (A) chain was cleaved in an alkaline solution of pH near 11.0. A cleaved heavy (A) chain of molecular weight 58,000 was observed. Both the heavy (A) chain and the light (B) chain were found to be cleaved at pH levels between 6.5 and 11.0. The loss of the esterase activity of plasmin samples in the autolytic process is in parallel with the decline of intact light (B) chain. The autolytic cleavage of the heavy (A) chain led to the formation of a new type of catalytically active plasmin.
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