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Blood. 2003 Apr 1;101(7):2628-36. Epub 2002 Nov 27.

Lactadherin inhibits enzyme complexes of blood coagulation by competing for phospholipid-binding sites.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, VA Boston Healthcare System, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Lactadherin, a glycoprotein of the milk-fat globule membrane, contains tandem C domains with homology to discoidin-type lectins and to membrane-binding domains of blood-clotting factors V and VIII. We asked whether the structural homology confers the capacity to compete for the membrane-binding sites of factor VIII and factor V and to function as an anticoagulant. Our results indicate that lactadherin competes efficiently with factor VIII and factor V for binding sites on synthetic phosphatidylserine-containing membranes with half-maximal displacement at lactadherin concentrations of 1 to 4 nM. Binding competition correlated to functional inhibition of factor VIIIa-factor IXa (factor Xase) enzyme complex. In contrast to annexin V, lactadherin was an efficient inhibitor of the prothrombinase and the factor Xase complexes regardless of the degree of membrane curvature and the phosphatidylserine content. Lactadherin also inhibited the factor VIIa-tissue factor complex efficiently whereas annexin V was less effective. Because the inhibitory concentration of lactadherin was proportional to the phospholipid concentration, and because lactadherin was not an efficient inhibitor in the absence of phospholipid, the major inhibitory effect of lactadherin relates to blocking phospholipid sites rather than forming inhibitory protein-protein complexes. Lactadherin was also an effective inhibitor of a modified whole blood prothrombin time assay in which clotting was initiated by dilute tissue factor; 60 nM lactadherin prolonged the prothrombin time 150% versus 20% for 60 nM annexin V. These results indicate that lactadherin can function as a potent phospholipid-blocking anticoagulant.

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