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Blood. 2000 Dec 1;96(12):3779-85.

End-linked homodimers in fibrinogen Osaka VI with a B beta-chain extension lead to fragile clot structure.

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  • 1Center for Molecular Medicine, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, Japan.


The authors have identified a 12-residue carboxyl-terminal extension of Lys-Ser-Pro-Met-Arg-Arg-Phe-Leu-Leu-Phe-Cys-Met in a dysfibrinogen derived from a woman heterozygotic for this abnormality and associated with severe bleeding. This extension is due to a T-to-A mutation that creates AAG encoding Lys at the stop (TAG) codon, thus translating 36 base pairs in the noncoding region of the Bbeta gene. The extra Cys residues appear to be involved in 1 or 2 disulfide bonds between 2 adjacent abnormal fibrinogen molecules, forming a fibrinogen homodimer as indicated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Indeed, about half of the fibrinogen molecules exist as end-linked dimers oriented in parallel or with an angle, as observed by transmission electron microscopy. These end-linked dimers may well alter the conformations of D and DD regions on fibrin assembly, leading to increased fiber branching at their sites in the growing protofibrils. By scanning electron microscopy, the Osaka VI fibrin network appears to have a lacelike structure composed of highly branched, thinner fibers than the normal fibrin architecture. Such fibrin networks may be easily damaged to form large pores when fluids are allowed to pass through the gels. The fragility of Osaka VI fibrin clots, further confirmed by permeation and compaction studies, may account for the massive bleeding observed in this patient. (Blood. 2000;96:3779-3785)

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