This paper describes a simple purification procedure for protease nexin, a serine proteinase inhibitor secreted by cultured human fibroblasts that regulates proteinase activity at and near the cell surface. The first step in the procedure takes advantage of the high-affinity binding of protease nexin to dextran sulphate-Sepharose. This step eliminates the need for prior concentration of the serum-free fibroblast-conditioned medium, since protease nexin binds to the resin in the presence of physiological saline. The use of dextran sulphate also provides an affinity resin with considerably less variability than the heparin-based resins previously used. Final purification to homogeneity involves a combination of DEAE-Sepharose in-line with dextran sulphate-Sepharose to simultaneously purify and concentrate the protein. Purified protease nexin is shown by Ouchterlony analysis and peptide mapping to be immunologically and structurally distinct from antithrombin III and heparin cofactor II, two plasma proteinase inhibitors with similar properties.

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