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Blood. 2004 Jan 15;103(2):607-12. Epub 2003 Sep 25.

VWF73, a region from D1596 to R1668 of von Willebrand factor, provides a minimal substrate for ADAMTS-13.

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  • 1National Cardiovascular Center Research Institute, 5-7-1 Fujishirodai, Suita, Osaka 565-8565, Japan.


ADAMTS-13 was recently identified as a new hemostatic factor, von Willebrand factor (VWF)-cleaving protease. Either congenital or acquired defects of the enzymatic activity lead to thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). ADAMTS-13 specifically cleaves a peptidyl bond between Y1605 and M1606 in the A2 domain of VWF. Here, we determined the minimal region recognized as a specific substrate by ADAMTS-13. A series of partial deletions in the A2 domain flanked with N- and C-terminal tags were expressed in Escherichia coli and affinity-purified. These purified proteins were incubated with human plasma, subjected to sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), and analyzed by Western blot. Judging from mobility shifts, all constructs except one were cleaved at the expected site. Data suggested that a minimal region as a functional substrate consisted of 73 amino acid residues from D1596 to R1668 of VWF, designated VWF73, and that further deletion of the E1660-R1668 region led to the loss of cleavage by ADAMTS-13. VWF73 was not cleaved by plasma from patients with congenital or acquired TTP, but cleaved by plasma from patients with hemolytic uremic syndrome, suggesting that VWF73 is a specific substrate forADAMTS-13. Thus, VWF73 will be a useful seed to develop a new rapid assay to determine ADAMTS-13 activity.

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