The serpins ( ser ine p roteinase in hibitor s ) are structurally similar but functionally diverse proteins that fold into a conserved structure and employ a unique suicide substrate-like inhibitory mechanism. Serpins play absolutely critical role in the control of proteases involved in the inflammatory, complement, coagulation and fibrinolytic pathways and are associated with many conformational diseases. Serpin's native state is a metastable state which transforms to a more stable state during its inhibitory mechanism. Serpin in the native form is in the stressed (S) conformation that undergoes a transition to a relaxed (R) conformation for the protease inhibition. During this transition the region called as reactive center loop which interacts with target proteases, inserts itself into the center of β -sheet A to form an extra strand. Serpin is delicately balanced to perform its function with many critical residues involved in maintaining metastability. However due to its typical mechanism of inhibition, naturally occurring serpin variants produces conformational instability that allows insertion of RCL of one molecule into the β -sheet A of another to form a loop-sheet linkage leading to its polymerization and aggregation. Thus understanding the molecular basis and amino acid involved in serpin polymerization mechanism is critical to devising strategies for its cure.
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