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Structure, Stability, And Interaction Of Fibrin αC-domain Polymers.

G. Tsurupa, Ariza Mahid, Y. Veklich, J. Weisel, L. Medved
Published 2011 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Our previous studies revealed that in fibrinogen the αC-domains are not reactive with their ligands, suggesting that their binding sites are cryptic and become exposed upon its conversion to fibrin, in which these domains form αC polymers. On the basis of this finding, we hypothesized that polymerization of the αC-domains in fibrin results in the exposure of their binding sites and that these domains adopt the physiologically active conformation only in αC-domain polymers. To test this hypothesis, we prepared a recombinant αC region (residues Aα221-610) including the αC-domain (Aα392-610), demonstrated that it forms soluble oligomers in a concentration-dependent and reversible manner, and stabilized such oligomers by covalently cross-linking them with factor XIIIa. Cross-linked Aα221-610 oligomers were stable in solution and appeared as ordered linear, branching filaments when analyzed by electron microscopy. Spectral studies revealed that the αC-domains in such oligomers were folded into compact structures of high thermal stability with a significant amount of β-sheets. These findings indicate that cross-linked Aα221-610 oligomers are highly ordered and mimic the structure of fibrin αC polymers. The oligomers also exhibited functional properties of polymeric fibrin because, in contrast to the monomeric αC-domain, they bound tPA and plasminogen and stimulated activation of the latter by the former. Altogether, the results obtained with cross-linked Aα221-610 oligomers clarify the structure of the αC-domains in fibrin αC polymers and confirm our hypothesis that their binding sites are exposed upon polymerization. Such oligomers represent a stable, soluble model of fibrin αC polymers that can be used for further structure-function studies of fibrin αC-domains.
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