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Nat Med. 1999 Sep;5(9):1044-7.

Catalytic activity of antibodies against factor VIII in patients with hemophilia A.

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INSERM U430 and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Hôpital Broussais, 75014 Paris, France.


Hemophilia A is an X chromosome-linked recessive disorder resulting in defective or deficient factor VIII (FVIII) molecules, which, in its severe form, is a life-threatening and crippling hemorrhagic disease. Infusion of homologous FVIII to patients with severe hemophilia A results, in 25% of patients, in the emergence of alloantibodies against FVIII (inhibitors)( ref. 1) that inhibit FVIII procoagulant activity by steric hindrance of the interaction of FVIII either with stabilizing molecules, with molecules essential for its activity or with activating molecules. Here, we report on the proteolysis of FVIII by alloantibodies of two patients with severe hemophilia A, demonstrating a previously unknown mechanism by which FVIII inhibitors may prevent the pro-coagulant function of FVIII. The kinetic parameters of FVIII hydrolysis indicate a functional role for the catalytic immune response in the inactivation of FVIII in vivo. The characterization of alloantibodies against FVIII as site-specific proteases may provide new approaches to the treatment of FVIII inhibitors.

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