The genes for the squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCCA) were found flanking a deletion breakpoint from a patient with the 18q-syndrome. The genes are <10 kb apart, tandemly arrayed in a head-to-tail fashion, and ~10 kb in size. Both genes also contain 8 exons and identical intron-exon boundaries. The cDNAs encode for proteins that are 92% identical and 95% similar. Amino acid comparisons show that SCCA1 and SCCA2 are members of the high-molecular weight serine proteinase inhibitor (serpin) family. Physical mapping studies show that the genes reside within the 500-kb region of 18q21.3 that contains at least four other serpin genes. The gene order is cen-maspin (PI5), SCCA2, SCCA1, PAI2, bomapin (PI10), PI8-tel. Biochemical analysis of recombinant SCCA1 and SCCA2 proteins shows that SCCA1 is a potent cross-class inhibitor of papain-like cysteine proteinases such as cathepsins L, S and K, whereas SCCA2 is an inhibitor of chymotrypsin-like serine proteinases such as cathepsin G and mast cell chymase. These findings suggest that SCCA1 and SCCA2 are capable of regulating proteolytic events involved in both normal (e.g., tissue remodeling, protein processing) and pathologic processes (e.g., tumor progression).
- Chromosome 18