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J Thromb Haemost. 2006 Nov;4(11):2355-64. Epub 2006 Aug 8.

Multiple B-cell clones producing antibodies directed to the spacer and disintegrin/thrombospondin type-1 repeat 1 (TSP1) of ADAMTS13 in a patient with acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

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Department of Plasma Proteins, Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



The cysteine-rich/spacer domains of ADAMTS13 contain a major binding site for antibodies in patients with acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP).


To study the heterogeneity of the antibody response towards these domains an immunoglobulin V-gene phage-display library was constructed to isolate monoclonal anti-ADAMTS13 antibodies from the immunoglobulin repertoire of a patient with acquired TTP.


Combined variable heavy chain (VH) and variable light chain (VL) segments, expressed as single-chain Fv fragments (scFv), were selected for binding to an ADAMTS13 fragment consisting of the disintegrin/thrombospondin type-1 repeat 1 (TSP1)/cysteine-rich/spacer domains.


Seven different scFv antibody clones were identified that were assigned to four groups based on their homology to VH germline gene segments. Epitope-mapping revealed that scFv I-9 (VH1-69), I-26 (VH1-02), and I-41 (VH3-09) bind to an overlapping binding site in the ADAMTS13 spacer domain, whereas scFv I-16 (VH3-07) binds to the disintegrin/TSP1 domains. The affinity of scFv for the disintegrin/TSP1/cysteine-rich/spacer domain was determined by surface plasmon resonance analysis and the dissociation constants ranged from 3 to 254 nM. The scFv partially inhibited ADAMTS13 activity. However, full-length IgG prepared from the variable domains of scFv I-9 inhibited ADAMTS13 activity more profoundly. Plasma of six patients with acquired TTP competed for binding of scFv I-9 to ADAMTS13.


Our data indicate that multiple B-cell clones producing antibodies directed against the spacer domain are present in the patient analyzed in this study. Our findings also suggest that antibodies with a similar epitope specificity as scFv I-9 are present in plasma of other patients with acquired TTP.

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