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J Thromb Haemost. 2007 Sep;5(9):1956-62.

Characterization of the interaction between von Willebrand factor and osteoprotegerin.

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1
INSERM U770, Le Kremlin-BicĂȘtre, F-94276, and Univ Paris-Sud, Le Kremlin-BicĂȘtre, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:

Osteoprotegerin (OPG), a member of the tumor necrosis-factor receptor superfamily, plays an important role in bone remodeling and is also involved in vascular diseases. OPG is physically associated with von Willebrand factor (VWF), a glycoprotein involved in primary hemostasis, within the Weibel-Palade bodies (WPBs) of endothelial cells and in plasma. The present study aimed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction between OPG and VWF.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

In a solid-phase binding assay, VWF was able to bind specifically to OPG in a calcium-dependent manner. This interaction displayed strong pH dependence with optimal binding occurring at pH 6.5 and was severely impaired by chloride-ion concentrations above 40 mm. Using a series of purified VWF derivatives the functional site that supports VWF interaction with OPG was localized on its Al domain. Fluorescence microscopy on human umbilical vein endothelial cells showed co-localization of VWF and OPG in WPBs. When secretion was induced, OPG remained associated with VWF in extracellular patches of release under biochemical conditions found in blood plasma.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our observations demonstrate the existence of an interactive site for OPG within the VWF A1-domain. This study established that the optimal biochemical parameters allowing a complex formation between VWF and OPG are those thought to prevail in the trans-Golgi network. These conditions would allow VWF to act as a cargo targeting OPG to WPBs. Finally, blood environments appear suitable to preserve the complex, which may participate in vascular injury, arterial calcification and inflammation.

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