Standard Article

Serpins: Evolution

  1. Gary A Silverman1,
  2. David J Askew1,
  3. James A Irving2,
  4. Cliff J Luke1,
  5. Dion Kaiserman2,
  6. Phillip I Bird2,
  7. James C Whisstock2

Published Online: 30 APR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0006118.pub2



How to Cite

Silverman, G. A., Askew, D. J., Irving, J. A., Luke, C. J., Kaiserman, D., Bird, P. I. and Whisstock, J. C. 2008. Serpins: Evolution. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

  2. 2

    Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 APR 2008


The serpin superfamily of serine (and cysteine) proteinase inhibitors contains over 750 members represented in Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya. All members of the serpin family share a unique tertiary structure that is critical to both inhibitory and noninhibitory functions. Serpins are involved in a vast array of biological processes, including the regulation of thrombosis, fibrinolysis and inflammation, and host defense.


  • serpins;
  • serine proteinase inhibitor;
  • cysteine proteinase inhibitor;
  • evolution;
  • genomes