Dabigatran and Argatroban Diametrically Modulate Thrombin Exosite Function Academic Article uri icon

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  • Thrombin is a highly plastic molecule whose activity and specificity are regulated by exosites 1 and 2, positively-charged domains that flank the active site. Exosite binding by substrates and cofactors regulates thrombin activity by localizing thrombin, guiding substrates, and by inducing allosteric changes at the active site. Although inter-exosite and exosite-to-active-site allostery have been demonstrated, the impact of active site ligation on exosite function has not been examined. To address this gap, we used surface plasmon resonance to determine the effects of dabigatran and argatroban, active site-directed inhibitors, on thrombin binding to immobilized γA/γA-fibrin or glycoprotein Ibα peptide via exosite 1 and 2, respectively, and thrombin binding to γA/γ'-fibrin or factor Va, which is mediated by both exosites. Whereas dabigatran attenuated binding, argatroban increased thrombin binding to γA/γA- and γA/γ'-fibrin and to factor Va. The results with immobilized fibrin were confirmed by examining the binding of radiolabeled thrombin to fibrin clots. Thus, dabigatran modestly accelerated the dissociation of thrombin from γA/γA-fibrin clots, whereas argatroban attenuated dissociation. Dabigatran had no effect on thrombin binding to glycoprotein Ibα peptide, whereas argatroban promoted binding. These findings not only highlight functional effects of thrombin allostery, but also suggest that individual active site-directed thrombin inhibitors uniquely modulate exosite function, thereby identifying potential novel mechanisms of action.


  • Yeh, Calvin H
  • Stafford, Alan R
  • Leslie, Beverly A
  • Fredenburgh, James C
  • Weitz, Jeffrey

publication date

  • 2016