Assay of procarboxypeptidase U, a novel determinant of the fibrinolytic cascade, in human plasma. (1/124)

BACKGROUND: Procarboxypeptidase U (proCPU) is a novel proenzyme found in human plasma. The active form, carboxypeptidase U (CPU; EC 3.4.17.20), retards the rate of fibrinolysis through its ability to cleave C-terminal lysine residues on fibrin partially degraded by plasmin. This reduces the number of high-affinity plasminogen-binding sites on fibrin. METHODS: We developed an assay to determine the proCPU concentration in human plasma. The assay involved quantitative conversion of proCPU to active CPU by thrombin-thrombomodulin, a very efficient activator of proCPU, followed by determination of the enzymatic activity of CPU with the substrate hippuryl-L-arginine, using an HPLC-assisted determination of the released hippuric acid. Using this method, we established a reference interval based on 490 healthy individuals. RESULTS: The mean proCPU concentration, determined after activation of the zymogen in diluted plasma and expressed as CPU activity, was 964 U/L, with a SD of 155 U/L. The population showed a gaussian distribution. However, we noticed important differences related to age and the use of hormone preparations. CONCLUSIONS: The sensitivity and precision of the method make it suitable for routine clinical determinations and as a reference procedure.  (+info)

Thrombin interacts with thrombomodulin, protein C, and thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor via specific and distinct domains. (2/124)

A collection of 56 purified thrombin mutants, in which 76 charged or polar surface residues on thrombin were mutated to alanine, was used to identify key residues mediating the interactions of thrombin with thrombomodulin (TM), protein C, and thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI). Comparison of protein C activation in the presence and absence of TM identified 11 residues mediating the thrombin-TM interaction (Lys(21), Gln(24), Arg(62), Lys(65), His(66), Arg(68), Thr(69), Tyr(71), Arg(73), Lys(77), Lys(106)). Three mutants (E25A, D51A, R89A/R93A/E94A) were found to have decreased ability to activate TAFI yet retained normal protein C activation, whereas three other mutants (R178A/R180A/D183A, E229A, R233A) had decreased ability to activate protein C but maintained normal TAFI activation. One mutant (W50A) displayed decreased activation of both substrates. Mapping of these functional residues on thrombin revealed that the 11 residues mediating the thrombin-TM interaction are all located in exosite I. Residues important in TAFI activation are located above the active-site cleft, whereas residues involved in protein C are located below the active-site cleft. In contrast to the extensive overlap of residues mediating TM binding and fibrinogen clotting, these data show that distinct domains in thrombin mediate its interactions with TM, protein C, and TAFI. These studies demonstrate that selective enzymatic properties of thrombin can be dissociated by site-directed mutagenesis.  (+info)

A novel approach to arterial thrombolysis. (3/124)

Achieving early, complete, and sustained reperfusion after acute myocardial infarction does not occur in approximately 50% of patients, even with the most potent established thrombolytic therapy. Bleeding is observed with increased concentrations of thrombolytics as well as with adjunctive antithrombotic and antiplatelet agents. A novel approach to enhance thrombolytic therapy is to inhibit the activated form of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI), which attenuates fibrinolysis in clots formed from human plasma. Identification of TAFI in rabbit plasma facilitated the development of a rabbit arterial thrombolysis model to compare the thrombolytic efficacy of tissue-plasminogen activator (tPA) alone or with an inhibitor, isolated from the potato tuber (PTI), of activated TAFI (TAFIa). Efficacy was assessed by determining the time to patency, the time the vessel remained patent, the maximal blood flow achieved during therapy, the percentage of the original thrombus, which lysed, the percentage change in clot weight, the net clot accreted, and the release of radioactive fibrin degradation products into the circulation. The results indicate that coadministration of PTI and tPA significantly improved tPA-induced thrombolysis without adversely affecting blood pressure, activated partial thromboplastin time, thrombin clotting time, fibrinogen, or alpha-2-antiplasmin concentrations. The data indicate that inhibitors of TAFIa may comprise novel and very effective adjuncts to tPA and improve thrombolytic therapy to achieve both clot lysis and vessel patency.  (+info)

Inactivation of active thrombin-activable fibrinolysis inhibitor takes place by a process that involves conformational instability rather than proteolytic cleavage. (4/124)

Thrombin-activable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) is present in the circulation as an inactive zymogen. Thrombin converts TAFI to a carboxypeptidase B-like enzyme (TAFIa) by cleaving at Arg(92) in a process accelerated by the cofactor, thrombomodulin. TAFIa attenuates fibrinolysis. TAFIa can be inactivated by both proteolysis by thrombin and spontaneous temperature-dependent loss of activity. The identity of the thrombin cleavage site responsible for loss of TAFIa activity was suggested to be Arg(330), but site-directed mutagenesis of this residue did not prevent inactivation of TAFIa by thrombin. In this study we followed TAFI activation and TAFIa inactivation by thrombin/thrombomodulin in time and characterized the cleavage pattern of TAFI using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry. Mass matching of the fragments revealed that TAFIa was cleaved at Arg(302). Studies of a mutant R302Q-TAFI confirmed identification of this thrombin cleavage site and, furthermore, suggested that inactivation of TAFIa is based on its conformational instability rather than proteolytic cleavage at Arg(302).  (+info)

Roles of thermal instability and proteolytic cleavage in regulation of activated thrombin-activable fibrinolysis inhibitor. (5/124)

We have used site-directed mutagenesis and a recombinant expression system for thrombin-activable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) in order to identify the thrombin cleavage site in activated TAFI (TAFIa) and to determine the relative contribution of proteolytic cleavage and thermal instability in regulation of TAFIa activity in clots. Arg-330 of TAFIa had been proposed to be the thrombin cleavage site based on studies with trypsin, but mutation of this residue to Gln did not prevent thrombin-mediated cleavage nor did mutation to Gln of the nearby Arg-320 residue. However, mutation of Arg-302 to Gln abolished thrombin-mediated cleavage of TAFIa. All TAFIa variants were susceptible to plasmin cleavage. Interestingly, all Arg to Gln substitutions decreased the thermal stability of TAFIa. The antifibrinolytic potential of the TAFI mutants in vitro correlates with the thermal stability of their respective TAFIa species, indicating that this property plays a key role in regulating the activity if TAFIa. Incubation of TAFIa under conditions that result in complete thermal inactivation of the enzyme accelerates subsequent thrombin- and plasmin-mediated cleavage of TAFIa. Moreover, the extent of cleavage of TAFIa by thrombin does not affect the rate of decay of TAFIa activity. Collectively, these studies point to a role for the thermal instability, but not for proteolytic cleavage, of TAFIa in regulation of its activity and, thus, of its antifibrinolytic potential. Finally, we propose a model for the thermal instability of TAFIa.  (+info)

Thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor and the risk for deep vein thrombosis. (6/124)

Thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI, or procarboxypeptidase B) is the precursor of a recently described carboxypeptidase that potently attenuates fibrinolysis. Therefore, we hypothesized that elevated plasma TAFI levels induce a hypofibrinolytic state associated with an increased risk for venous thrombosis. To evaluate this hypothesis, we developed an electroimmunoassay for TAFI antigen and used this assay to measure TAFI levels in the Leiden Thrombophilia Study, a case-control study of venous thrombosis in 474 patients with a first deep vein thrombosis and 474 age- and sex-matched control subjects. In 474 healthy control subjects, an increase of TAFI with age was observed in women but not in men. Oral contraceptive use also increased the TAFI concentration. TAFI levels above the 90th percentile of the controls (> 122 U/dL) increased the risk for thrombosis nearly 2-fold compared with TAFI levels below the 90th percentile (odds ratio, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-2.5). Adjustment for various possible confounders did not materially affect this estimate. These results indicate that elevated TAFI levels form a mild risk factor for venous thrombosis. Such levels were found in 9% of healthy controls and in 14% of patients with a first deep vein thrombosis. Elevated TAFI levels did not enhance the thrombotic risk associated with factor V Leiden but may interact with high factor VIII levels. (Blood. 2000;95:2855-2859)  (+info)

Elements of the primary structure of thrombomodulin required for efficient thrombin-activable fibrinolysis inhibitor activation. (7/124)

Deletion and point mutants of soluble thrombomodulin were used to compare and contrast elements of primary structure required for the activation of thrombin-activable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) and protein C. The smallest mutant capable of efficiently promoting TAFI activation contained residues including the c-loop of epidermal growth factor-3 (EGF3) through EGF6. This mutant is 13 residues longer than the smallest mutant that functioned well with protein C; the latter consisted of residues from the interdomain loop connecting EGF3 and EGF4 through EGF6. Alanine point mutants showed no loss of function in protein C activation for mutations within the c-loop of EGF3. In TAFI activation, however, alanine mutations cause a 50% reduction at Tyr-337, 67% reductions at Asp-338 and Leu-339, and 90% or greater reductions at Val-340, Asp-341, and Glu-343. A mutation at Asp-349 in the peptide connecting EGF3 to EGF4 eliminated activity against both TAFI and protein C. Oxidation of Met-388 in the peptide connecting EGF5 to EGF6 reduced the rate of protein C activation by 80% but marginally, if at all, affected the rate of TAFI activation. Mutation at Phe-376 severely reduced protein C activation but only marginally influenced that of TAFI. A Q387P mutation, however, severely reduced both activities. TAFI activation was shown to be Ca(2+)-dependent. The response, unlike that of protein C, was monotonic and was half-maximal at 0.25 mm Ca(2+). Like protein C activation, TAFI activation was eliminated by a monoclonal antibody directed at the thrombin-binding domain (EGF5) but was not affected by one directed at EGF2. Thus, elements of structure in the thrombin-binding domain are needed for the activation of both protein C and TAFI, but more of the primary structure is needed for TAFI activation. In addition, some residues are needed for one of the reactions but not the other.  (+info)

Pro-carboxypeptidase R is an acute phase protein in the mouse, whereas carboxypeptidase N is not. (8/124)

Carboxypeptidase R (EC 3.4.17.20; CPR) and carboxypeptidase N (EC 3. 4.17.3; CPN) cleave carboxyl-terminal arginine and lysine residues from biologically active peptides such as kinins and anaphylatoxins, resulting in regulation of their biological activity. Human proCPR, also known as thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor, plasma pro-carboxypeptidase B, and pro-carboxypeptidase U, is a plasma zymogen activated during coagulation. CPN, however, previously termed kininase I and anaphylatoxin inactivator, is present in a stable active form in plasma. We report here the isolation of mouse proCPR and CPN cDNA clones that can induce their respective enzymatic activities in culture supernatants of transiently transfected cells. Potato carboxypeptidase inhibitor can inhibit carboxypeptidase activity in culture medium of mouse proCPR-transfected cells. The expression of proCPR mRNA in murine liver is greatly enhanced following LPS injection, whereas CPN mRNA expression remains unaffected. Furthermore, the CPR activity in plasma increased 2-fold at 24 h after LPS treatment. Therefore, proCPR can be considered a type of acute phase protein, whereas CPN is not. An increase in CPR activity may facilitate rapid inactivation of inflammatory mediators generated at the site of Gram-negative bacterial infection and may consequently prevent septic shock. In view of the ability of proCPR to also inhibit fibrinolysis, an excess of proCPR induced by LPS may contribute to hypofibrinolysis in patients suffering from disseminated intravascular coagulation caused by sepsis.  (+info)