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J Biol Chem. 2009 Nov 6;284(45):30925-32. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.000927. Epub 2009 Sep 3.

ADAMTS13 bound to endothelial cells exhibits enhanced cleavage of von Willebrand factor.

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  • 1Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


ADAMTS13 is a plasma metalloprotease that cleaves ultralarge von Willebrand factor multimers to generate less thrombogenic fragments. Although this cleavage can occur at the surface of endothelial cells, it is currently unknown whether this process involves binding of the ADAMTS13 to the endothelial cell plasma membrane. Using different assay systems, we present evidence that ADAMTS13 binds to endothelial cells in a specific, reversible, and time-dependent manner with a K(d) of 58 nm. This binding requires the COOH-terminal thrombospondin type 1 repeats of the protease. Binding is inhibited in the presence of heparin and by trypsin treatment of the cells. ADAMTS13 that was prebound to endothelial cells exhibited increased proteolysis of VWF as compared with ADAMTS13 present only in solution. These data support the notion that cleavage of VWF occurs mainly at the endothelial cell surface.

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