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Thromb Haemost. 2006 Dec;96(6):717-24.

Differential effects of the loss of intrachain- versus interchain-disulfide bonds in the cystine-knot domain of von Willebrand factor on the clinical phenotype of von Willebrand disease.

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Hemostasis and Thrombosis Research Center, Department of Hematology, C2-R, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, the Netherlands.


Von Willebrand factor (VWF) contains a large number of cysteine residues, which all form disulfide bonds. Mutations of cysteines located in the cystine-knot (CK) domain of VWF have been identified in both qualitative type 2A (IID) and quantitative type 3 von Willebrand disease (VWD). Our objective was to test the hypothesis that the difference in phenotype is related to whether the mutated cysteine residue is involved in either interchain- or intrachain-disulfide-bond formation. The effects of three cysteine mutations which are all located in the CK-domain of VWF, C2773S (type 2A(IID)), C2739Y (type 3), and C2754W (type 3), were studied by transient expression in 293T cells. Cotransfection of wild-type (wt) and C2773S VWF constructs reproduced the plasma phenotype of heterozygous type 2A(IID) patients, with normal to high levels of VWF antigen (VWF:Ag), absence of high-molecular-weight multimers, and the presence of intervening bands between the normal multimers. In contrast, single transfections of C2739Y or C2754W resulted in a quantitative VWF defect with low VWF:Ag levels, and co-transfections of wt and mutant constructs resulted in a 50% reduction of VWF:Ag and only a minor effect on VWF multimerization. We demonstrated N-terminal dimerization of VWF-C2773S and both N- and C-terminal dimerization of VWF-C2754W. Our data suggest that loss of a single disulfide bond in the CK-domain of VWF leads to a recessive, quantitative VWF deficiency if an intrachain-disulfide bond is involved, and to a dominant-negative, qualitative defect of VWF if an interchain-disulfide bond is involved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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