Characterization of the gene and protein of the common α1-antitrypsin normal M2 allele
The normal M2 variant of alpha 1-antitrypsin (alpha 1AT) was cloned from a genomic DNA library of an individual homozygous for this allele. Sequencing of all coding exons of the M2 gene revealed it was identical to the common M1(Val213) gene except for two bases (M1(Val213) CGT Arg101, M2 CAT His101; M1(Val213) GAA Glu376 M2 GAC Asp376). Analysis of the sequence of the M1(Val213) and M2 genes around residue 101 revealed the M1 Arg101----M2 His101 caused a loss of the cutting site for the restriction endonuclease RsaI. Using this enzyme, as well as 19-mer oligonucleotides probes centered at residues 101 and 376, evaluation of genomic DNA from 22 M1 alleles and 14 M2 alleles revealed that residue 101 was Arg in all M1 alleles and His in all M2 alleles, while residue 376 was Glu in all M1 alleles and Asp in all M2 alleles. Despite the differences in sequence at two amino acids, the M1(Val213) and M2 proteins function similarly as assessed by quantification of the association rate constant of each for their natural substrate neutrophil elastase. In the context that there are two mutations separating the M1(Val213) and M2 alleles, it is likely that there is another alpha 1AT variant that was an intermediate in the evolution of these genes.