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Ciba Found Symp. 1997;212:46-60; discussion 60-5.

The kringle domains of human plasminogen.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA.


The mature form of the zymogen, human plasminogen (HPlg), contains 791 amino acids present in a single polypeptide chain. The fibrinolytic enzyme, human plasmin (HPlm), is formed from HPlg as a result of activator-catalysed cleavage of the Arg561-Val562 peptide bond in HPlg. The resulting HPlm contains a heavy chain of 561 amino acid residues, originating from the N-terminus of HPlg, doubly disulfide-linked to a light chain of 230 amino acid residues. This latter region, containing the C-terminus of HPlg, is homologous to serine proteases such as trypsin and elastase. The heavy chain of HPlm consists of five repeating triple-disulfide-linked peptide regions, c. 80 amino acid residues in length, termed kringles (K), that are responsible for interactions of HPlg and HPlm with substrates, inhibitors and regulators of HPlg activation. Important among the ligands of the kringles are positive activation effectors, typified by lysine and its analogues, and negative activation effectors, such as Cl-. The kringle domains of HPlg that participate in these binding interactions are K1, K4 and K5, and perhaps K2. These modules appear to function as independent domains. The amino acid residues important in these kringle/ligand binding interactions have been proposed by structural determinations, and their relative importance quantified by site-directed mutagenesis experimentation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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