Fusion to Human Serum Albumin Extends the Circulatory Half-Life and Duration of Antithrombotic Action of the Kunitz Protease Inhibitor Domain of Protease Nexin 2
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BACKGROUND/AIMS: The Kunitz Protease Inhibitor (KPI) domain of protease nexin 2 (PN2) potently inhibits coagulation factor XIa. Recombinant KPI has been shown to inhibit thrombosis in mouse models, but its clearance from the murine circulation remains uncharacterized. The present study explored the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects of fusing KPI to human serum albumin (HSA) in fusion protein KPIHSA. METHODS: Hexahistidine-tagged KPI (63 amino acids) and KPIHSA (656 amino acids) were expressed in Pichia pastoris yeast and purified by nickel-chelate chromatography. Clearance profiles in mice were determined, as well as the effects of KPI or KPIHSA administration on FeCl3-induced vena cava thrombus size or carotid artery time to occlusion, respectively. RESULTS: Fusion to HSA increased the mean terminal half-life of KPI by 8-fold and eliminated its interaction with the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein. KPI and KPIHSA similarly reduced thrombus size and occlusion in both venous and arterial thrombosis models when administered at the time of injury, but only KPI was effective when administered one hour before injury. CONCLUSIONS: Albumin fusion deflects KPI from rapid in vivo clearance without impairing its antithrombotic properties and widens its potential therapeutic window.
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