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Biochem J. 1995 Aug 15;310 ( Pt 1):323-30.

Elimination of glycosylation heterogeneity affecting heparin affinity of recombinant human antithrombin III by expression of a beta-like variant in baculovirus-infected insect cells.

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  • 1Temple University Medical School, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.


In order to promote homogeneity of recombinant antithrombin III interactions with heparin, an asparagine-135 to alanine substitution mutant was expressed in baculovirus-infected insect cells. The N135A variant does not bear an N-linked oligosaccharide on residue 135 and is therefore similar to the beta isoform of plasma antithrombin. Purified bv.hat3.N135A is homogeneous with respect to molecular mass, charge and elution from immobilized heparin. Second-order rate constants for thrombin and factor Xa inhibition determined in the absence and presence of heparin are in good agreement with values established for plasma antithrombin and these enzymes. Based on far- and near-UV CD, bv.hat3.N135A has a high degree of conformational similarity to plasma antithrombin. Near-UV CD, absorption difference and fluorescence spectroscopy studies indicate that it also undergoes an identical or very similar conformational change upon heparin binding. The Kds of bv.hat3.N135A for high-affinity heparin and pentasaccharide were determined and are in good agreement with those of the plasma beta-antithrombin isoform. The demonstrated similarity of bv.hat3.N135A and plasma antithrombin interactions with target proteinases and heparins suggest that it will be a useful base molecule for investigating the structural basis of antithrombin III heparin cofactor activity.

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