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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 Jan 17;1703(2):141-7.

Structural and functional consequences of methionine oxidation in thrombomodulin.

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Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-5430, USA.


Thrombomodulin (TM) is an endothelial cell surface glycoprotein that is responsible for switching the catalytic activity of thrombin away from fibrinogen cleavage (pro-coagulant) and towards protein C cleavage (anticoagulant). Although TM is a large protein, only the fourth and fifth epidermal growth factor-like (EGF-like) domains are required for anticoagulant function. These two domains must work together, and the linker between the two domains contains a single methionine residue, Met 388. Oxidation of Met 388 is deleterious for TM activity. Structural studies, both X-ray and NMR, of wild type and variants at position 388 show that Met 388 provides a key linkage between the two domains. Oxidation of the methionine has consequences for the structure of the fifth domain, which binds to thrombin. Oxidation also appears to disrupt the interdomain contacts resulting in structural and dynamic changes. The functional consequences of oxidation of Met 388 include decreased anticoagulant activity. Oxidative stress from several causes is reflected in lower serum levels of activated protein C and a higher thrombotic tendency, and this is thought to be linked to the oxidation of Met 388 in TM. Thus, TM structure and function are altered in a subtle but functionally critical way upon oxidation of Met 388.

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