National Center for
1S18: Structure And Protein Design Of Human Apyrase
Cell (2004) 116 p.649-659
Hematophagous arthropods secrete a salivary apyrase that inhibits platelet activation by catabolizing ADP released from damaged tissues and blood cells. We report the X-ray crystal structures of a human enzyme of the soluble apyrase family in its apo state and bound to a substrate analog. The structures reveal a nucleotide binding domain comprising a five-blade beta propeller, binding determinants of the substrate and the active site, and an unusual calcium binding site with a potential regulatory function. Using a comparative structural biology approach, we were able to redesign the human apyrase so as to enhance its ADPase activity by more than 100-fold. The engineered enzyme is a potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation and may serve as the basis for the development of a new class of antithrombotic agents.