Batroxobin Binds Fibrin with Higher Affinity and Promotes Clot Expansion to a Greater Extent than Thrombin
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Batroxobin is a thrombin-like serine protease from the venom of Bothrops atrox moojeni that clots fibrinogen. In contrast to thrombin, which releases fibrinopeptide A and B from the NH2-terminal domains of the Aα- and Bβ-chains of fibrinogen, respectively, batroxobin only releases fibrinopeptide A. Because the mechanism responsible for these differences is unknown, we compared the interactions of batroxobin and thrombin with the predominant γA/γA isoform of fibrin(ogen) and the γA/γ' variant with an extended γ-chain. Thrombin binds to the γ'-chain and forms a higher affinity interaction with γA/γ'-fibrin(ogen) than γA/γA-fibrin(ogen). In contrast, batroxobin binds both fibrin(ogen) isoforms with similar high affinity (Kd values of about 0.5 μM) even though it does not interact with the γ'-chain. The batroxobin-binding sites on fibrin(ogen) only partially overlap with those of thrombin because thrombin attenuates, but does not abrogate, the interaction of γA/γA-fibrinogen with batroxobin. Furthermore, although both thrombin and batroxobin bind to the central E-region of fibrinogen with a Kd value of 2-5 μM, the α(17-51) and Bβ(1-42) regions bind thrombin but not batroxobin. Once bound to fibrin, the capacity of batroxobin to promote fibrin accretion is 18-fold greater than that of thrombin, a finding that may explain the microvascular thrombosis that complicates envenomation by B. atrox moojeni. Therefore, batroxobin binds fibrin(ogen) in a manner distinct from thrombin, which may contribute to its higher affinity interaction, selective fibrinopeptide A release, and prothrombotic properties.
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