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J Biol Chem. 2008 Oct 31;283(44):30164-73. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M806158200. Epub 2008 Sep 2.

Fate of membrane-bound reactants and products during the activation of human prothrombin by prothrombinase.

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Joseph Stokes Research Institute, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


Membrane binding by prothrombin, mediated by its N-terminal fragment 1 (F1) domain, plays an essential role in its proteolytic activation by prothrombinase. Thrombin is produced in two cleavage reactions. One at Arg(320) yields the proteinase meizothrombin that retains membrane binding properties. The second, at Arg(271), yields thrombin and severs covalent linkage with the N-terminal fragment 1.2 (F12) region. Covalent linkage with the membrane binding domain is also lost when prethrombin 2 (P2) and F12 are produced following initial cleavage at Arg(271). We show that at the physiological concentration of prothrombin, thrombin formation results in rapid release of the proteinase into solution. Product release from the surface can be explained by the weak interaction between the proteinase and F12 domains. In contrast, the zymogen intermediate P2, formed following cleavage at Arg(271), accumulates on the surface because of a approximately 20-fold higher affinity for F12. By kinetic studies, we show that this enhanced binding adequately explains the ability of unexpectedly low concentrations of F12 to greatly enhance the conversion of P2 to thrombin. Thus, the utilization of all three possible substrate species by prothrombinase is regulated by their ability to bind membranes regardless of whether covalent linkage to the F12 region is maintained. The product, thrombin, interacts with sufficiently poor affinity with F12 so that it is rapidly released from its site of production to participate in its numerous hemostatic functions.

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