Mechanisms responsible for catalysis of the inhibition of factor Xa or thrombin by antithrombin using a covalent antithrombin-heparin complex.
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Covalent antithrombin-heparin (ATH) complexes, formed spontaneously between antithrombin (AT) and unfractionated standard heparin (H), have a potent ability to catalyze the inhibition of factor Xa (or thrombin) by added AT. Although approximately 30% of ATH molecules contain two AT-binding sites on their heparin chains, the secondary site does not solely account for the increased activity of ATH. We studied the possibility that all pentasaccharide AT-binding sequences in ATH may catalyze factor Xa inhibition. Chromatography of ATH on Sepharose-AT resulted in >80% binding of the load. Similar chromatographies of non-covalent AT + H mixtures lead to a lack of binding for AT and fractionation of H into unbound (separate from AT) or bound material. Gradient elution of ATH from Sepharose-AT gave 2 peaks, a peak containing higher affinity material that had greater anti-factor Xa catalytic activity (708 units/mg heparin) compared with the peak containing lower affinity material (112 units/mg). Sepharose-AT chromatography of the ATH component with short heparin chains (
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