(Science: chemical) endogenous peptides present in most body fluids. Certain enzymes convert them to active kinins which are involved in inflammation, blood clotting, complement reactions, etc. Kininogens belong to the cystatin superfamily. They are cysteine proteinase inhibitors. High-molecular-weight kininogen (hmwk) is split by plasma kallikrein to produce bradykinin. Low-molecular-weight kininogen (lmwk) is split by tissue kallikrein to produce kallidin.
Pharmacological action: cysteine proteinase inhibitors.