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J Biol Chem. 1997 Jun 20;272(25):16062-7.

Activation of blood coagulation factor X by arginine-specific cysteine proteinases (gingipain-Rs) from Porphyromonas gingivalis.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.


The effect of two arginine-specific cysteine proteinases (gingipain Rs) from Porphyromonas gingivalis, a causative bacterium of adult periodontitis, on human blood coagulation was investigated. Activated partial thromboplastin time and prothrombin time were shortened by these proteinases, with a 95-kDa gingipain R containing adhesin domains being 5-fold more efficient in comparison to a 50-kDa gingipain R containing the catalytic domain alone. The 50-kDa enzyme reduced each coagulation time in several plasmas deficient in various coagulation factors, while it was ineffective in factor X-deficient plasma unless reconstituted with this protein. Each proteinase activated factor X in a dose- and time-dependent manner, with Michaelis constants (Km) being found to be lower than the normal plasma factor X concentration, strongly suggesting that factor X activation by gingipain Rs, especially the 95-kDa form which is strongly activated by phospholipids, could occur in plasma. This is the first report of factor X activation by bacterial proteinases and indicates that the gingipain Rs could be responsible for the production of thrombin and, indirectly, with the generation of prostaglandins, interleukin-1, etc., which have been found to be associated with the development of periodontitis induced by P. gingivalis infections. Furthermore, the data support the hypothesis that induction of blood coagulation by bacterial proteinases may be a causative agent in the pathogenesis of disseminated intravascular coagulation in sepsis.

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