Native light Ig chains of kappa- but not of lambda-type form -S-S linked complexes with prealbumin, alpha1-AT and albumin in vivo. kappa-chains isolated from urines have cysteinyls which are more promptly reacting with dithionitrobenzoate (DTNB) than lambda-chains. Both are monomerized on this reaction. On addition to plasma mixed disulfides between both types of light chains and DTNB form larger amounts of complexes than the native chains. The lower reactivity of native lambda-chains to the plasma proteins can be explained by their higher dimer stability. From the light chain reactions obtained with isolated alpha1-AT and albumin it is concluded that alpha1-AT has a disulfide which efficiently interchanges with monomeric, light chain thiolate ions released from thionitrobenzoate derivates of light chains and that on interchange with the derivatized light chains albumin releases more free light chains into the solution than are bound to albumin. Addition of derivatized light chains to a mixture of alpha1-AT and albumin increases the yield of alpha1-AT complexes and decreases the amount of albumin complexes formed. The relative amount of the different complexes formed in the latter experiments corresponds to the findings in vivo in patients with Bence Jones proteinemia. Prealbumin and alpha1-AT in plasma have a roughly 10-fold stronger tendency to link the light chains than albumin. The complexes are formed through thiol-disulfide interchange though neither the disulfide of native alpha1-AT nor the thiols of prealbumin is available for reaction with DTNB. The three plasma proteins may together constitute a system for linkage and transport of peptides with reactive thiols or disulfides released into the extracellular fluids. The trypsin and elastase binding and inhibiting capacity of alpha1-AT remains after cleavage of the internal -S-S-bridge of alpha1-AT through interchange with a light chain thiol for which reason an intact internal -S-S-bridge of alpha1-AT is not necessary for inhibition and linkdage of the enzymes.

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