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J Biol Chem. 2001 Apr 13;276(15):11996-2002. Epub 2001 Jan 12.

A novel anti-angiogenic form of antithrombin with retained proteinase binding ability and heparin affinity.

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Department of Genetics and Pathology, Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala University, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.


Latent antithrombin, an inactive antithrombin form with low heparin affinity, has previously been shown to efficiently inhibit angiogenesis and tumor growth. We now show that heat treatment similar to that used for preparation of latent antithrombin also transforms antithrombin to another form, which we denote prelatent, with potent anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor activity but with retained proteinase- and heparin-binding properties. The ability of prelatent antithrombin to inhibit angiogenesis is presumably due to a limited conformational change, which may partially resemble that in latent antithrombin. Such a change is evidenced by a different cleavage pattern of prelatent than of native antithrombin by nontarget proteinases. Prelatent antithrombin exerts its anti-angiogenic effect by a similar mechanism as latent antithrombin, i.e. by inhibiting focal adhesion formation and focal adhesion kinase activity, thereby leading to decreased proliferation of endothelial cells. The proteinase inhibitory fractions in commercial antithrombin preparations, which have been heat treated during production, also have anti-angiogenic activity, comparable with that of the prelatent antithrombin form.

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