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J Biol Chem. 1992 Jun 25;267(18):12528-38.

Role of the antithrombin-binding pentasaccharide in heparin acceleration of antithrombin-proteinase reactions. Resolution of the antithrombin conformational change contribution to heparin rate enhancement.

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Division of Biochemical Research, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan 48202.


The synthetic antithrombin-binding heparin pentasaccharide and a full-length heparin of approximately 26 saccharides containing this specific sequence have been compared with respect to their interactions with antithrombin and their ability to promote inhibition and substrate reactions of antithrombin with thrombin and factor Xa. The aim of these studies was to elucidate the pentasaccharide contribution to heparin's accelerating effect on antithrombin-proteinase reactions. Pentasaccharide and full-length heparins bound antithrombin with comparable high affinities (KD values of 36 +/- 11 and 10 +/- 3 nM, respectively, at I 0.15) and induced highly similar protein fluorescence, ultraviolet and circular dichroism changes in the inhibitor. Stopped-flow fluorescence kinetic studies of the heparin binding interactions at I 0.15 were consistent with a two-step binding process for both heparins, involving an initial weak encounter complex interaction formed with similar affinities (KD 20-30 microM), followed by an inhibitor conformational change with indistinguishable forward rate constants of 520-700 s-1 but dissimilar reverse rate constants of approximately 1 s-1 for the pentasaccharide and approximately 0.2 s-1 for the full-length heparin. Second order rate constants for antithrombin reactions with thrombin and factor Xa were maximally enhanced by the pentasaccharide only 1.7-fold for thrombin, but a substantial 270-fold for factor Xa, in an ionic strength-independent manner at saturating oligosaccharide. In contrast, the full-length heparin produced large ionic strength-dependent enhancements in second order rate constants for both antithrombin reactions of 4,300-fold for thrombin and 580-fold for factor Xa at I 0.15. These enhancements were resolvable into a nonionic component ascribable to the pentasaccharide and an ionic component responsible for the additional rate increase of the larger heparin. Stoichiometric titrations of thrombin and factor Xa inactivation by antithrombin, as well as sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the products of these reactions, indicated that pentasaccharide and full-length heparins similarly promoted the formation of proteolytically modified inhibitor during the inactivation of factor Xa by antithrombin, whereas only the full-length heparin was effective in promoting this substrate reaction of antithrombin during the reaction with thrombin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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