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Blood. 2013 Oct 10;122(15):2743-50. doi: 10.1182/blood-2013-05-501692. Epub 2013 Aug 27.

Human VKORC1 mutations cause variable degrees of 4-hydroxycoumarin resistance and affect putative warfarin binding interfaces.

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Institute of Experimental Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, University Clinic Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


Since the discovery of warfarin-sensitive vitamin K 2,3-epoxide reductase complex subunit 1 (VKORC1), 26 human VKORC1 (hVKORC1) missense mutations have been associated with oral anticoagulant resistance (OACR). Assessment of warfarin resistance using the "classical" dithiothreitol-driven vitamin K 2,3-epoxide reductase (VKOR) assay has not reflected clinical resistance phenotypes for most mutations. Here, we present half maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) results for 21 further hVKORC1 mutations obtained using a recently validated cell-based assay (J Thromb Haemost 11(5):872). In contrast to results from the dithiothreitol-driven VKOR assay, all mutations exhibited basal VKOR activity and warfarin IC50 values that correspond well to patient OACR phenotypes. Thus, the present assay is useful for functional investigations of VKORC1 and oral anticoagulant inhibition of the vitamin K cycle. Additionally, we modeled hVKORC1 on the previously solved structure of a homologous bacterial enzyme and performed in silico docking of warfarin on this model. We identified one binding site delineated by 3 putative binding interfaces. These interfaces comprise linear sequences of the endoplasmic reticulum-lumenal loop (Ser52-Phe55) and the first (Leu22-Lys30) and fourth (Phe131-Thr137) transmembrane helices. All known OACR-associated hVKORC1 mutations are located in or around these putative interfaces, supporting our model.

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