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

Molecular and cellular basis for type I heparin cofactor II deficiency (heparin cofactor II Awaji).

Heparin cofactor II (HCII) is a serine proteinase inhibitor in human plasma that rapidly inhibits thrombin in the presence of dermatan sulfate or heparin. To understand the molecular mechanism for HCII deficiency in a patient with reduced circulating HCII antigen, we studied a Japanese patient with type I HCII deficiency who suffered from angina pectoris and coronary artery disease. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based sequence analysis showed that the propositus' gene for HCII (HCII Awaji gene) had a thymine insertion after codon ( GAT) for Asp88 in exon II, resulting in a frameshift mutation. Consequently, the abnormal HCII Awaji protein was suggested to have an altered amino acid sequence from position 89 and terminate at 107, thus being composed of the NH2-terminal one fifth of normal HCII and dysfunctional for thrombin inhibition. The molecular weight and pI value of HCII Awaji were calculated to be 12,040 and 3.6, respectively, without posttranslational modification. Mutagenic PCR followed by the Tsp509I digestion showed that a half of the PCR products derived from the propositus and his sister was cleaved, suggesting that his sister also has the same mutant allele. Crossed-immunoelectrophoresis and Western blot analyses of plasma and urine from the the propositus and of plasma from his sister did not provide evidence for the existence of the abnormal HCII, suggesting that little truncated HCII was circulating in the patient's blood. However, stable expression assay using human kidney 293 cells transfected with the expression vector containing cDNA encoding wild-type or Awaji-type HCII showed that mutant as well as wild-type HCII was secreted into culture medium normally. These results suggest that the abnormal HCII Awaji protein is secreted normally, but rapidly degraded in the circulating blood.[1]


  1. Molecular and cellular basis for type I heparin cofactor II deficiency (heparin cofactor II Awaji). Kondo, S., Tokunaga, F., Kario, K., Matsuo, T., Koide, T. Blood (1996) [Pubmed]
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