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Biochem J. 2001 Dec 1;360(Pt 2):499-506.

Implication of protein S thrombin-sensitive region with membrane binding via conformational changes in the gamma-carboxyglutamic acid-rich domain.

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Unité INSERM 428, Faculté de Pharmacie, 4 Avenue de l'Observatoire, 75270 Paris Cedex 06, France.


In the vitamin K-dependent protein family, only protein S (PS) contains a thrombin-sensitive region (TSR), located between the domain containing the gamma-carboxyglutamic acid and the first epidermal growth factor-like domain. To better define the role of TSR in the PS molecule, we expressed a recombinant human PS (rHPS) and its analogue lacking TSR (rTSR-less), and prepared factor Xa- and thrombin-cleaved rHPS. A peptide reproducing TSR (TSR-peptide) was also synthesized in an attempt to obtain direct evidence of the domain involvement in PS anticoagulant activity. In a coagulation assay, both rTSR-less and factor Xa-cleaved PS were devoid of activated protein C cofactor activity. The TSR-peptide did not inhibit rHPS activity, showing that TSR must be embedded in the native protein to promote interaction with activated protein C. The binding of rHPS to activated platelets and to phospholipid vesicles was not modified after factor Xa- or thrombin-mediated TSR cleavage, whereas the binding of rTSR-less was markedly reduced. This suggested a role for TSR in conferring to PS a strong affinity for phospholipid membranes. TSR-peptide did not directly bind to activated platelets or compete with rHPS for phospholipid binding. The results of the present study show that TSR may not interact directly with membranes, but probably constrains the gamma-carboxyglutamic acid-rich domain in a conformation allowing optimal interaction with phospholipids.

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