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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Heparin-activated antithrombin interacts with the autolysis loop of target coagulation proteases.

A unique pentasaccharide fragment of heparin can enhance the reactivity of antithrombin with coagulation proteases factors IXa and Xa by 300- to 600-fold through a conformational activation of the serpin, without having a significant effect on the reactivity of antithrombin with thrombin. In this study, it was hypothesized that differences in the structure of the autolysis loop of coagulation proteases (residues 143-154 in chymotrypsin numbering) may be responsible for their differential reactivity with the native and heparin-activated antithrombin. To test this hypothesis, the autolysis loops of both thrombin and the anticoagulant serine protease-activated protein C were replaced with the corresponding loop of factor Xa. Inhibition studies revealed that in contrast to the approximately 1.5-fold difference in the reactivity of thrombin with antithrombin in the absence and presence of pentasaccharide, the difference in reactivity was increased to approximately 37-fold for the mutant thrombin. In the case of the activated protein C mutant, similar to factor Xa, pentasaccharide accelerated the reaction 375-fold. These results suggest that structural differences in the autolysis loop of coagulation proteases play a key role in their differential reactivity with the native and heparin-activated conformations of antithrombin.[1]


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