Blood coagulation is a finely regulated physiological process culminating with the factor Xa (FXa)-mediated conversion of the prothrombin (ProT) zymogen to active -thrombin (T). In the prothrombinase complex on the platelet surface, FXa cleaves ProT at Arg-271, generating the inactive precursor pre-thrombin-2 (Pre2), which is further attacked at Arg-320 –Ile-321 to yield mature T. Whereas the mechanism of physiological ProT activation has been elucidated in great detail, little is known about the role of bacterial proteases, possibly released in the bloodstream during infection, in inducing blood coagulation by direct proteolytic ProT activation. This knowledge gap is particularly concerning, as bacterial infections are frequently complicated by severe coagulopathies. Here, we show that addition of subtilisin (50 nM to 2 M), a serine protease secreted by the non-pathogenic bacterium Bacillus subtilis, induces plasma clotting by proteolytically converting ProT into active Pre2, a nicked Pre2 derivative with a single cleaved Ala-470 –Asn-471 bond. Notably, we found that this non-canonical cleavage at Ala-470 –Asn-471 is instrumental for the onset of catalysis in Pre2, which was, however, reduced about 100 –200-fold compared with T. Of note, Pre2 could generate fibrin clots from fibrinogen, either in solution or in blood plasma, and could aggregate human platelets, either isolated or in whole blood. Our findings demonstrate that alternative cleavage of ProT by proteases, even by those secreted by non-virulent bacteria such as B. subtilis, can shift the delicate procoagulant–anticoagulant equilibrium toward thrombosis.

Non-canonical proteolytic activation of human prothrombin by subtilisin from Bacillus subtilis may shift the procoagulantâ anticoagulant equilibrium toward thrombosis

Pontarollo, Giulia;Acquasaliente, Laura;Peterle, Daniele;Frasson, Roberta;De Filippis, Vincenzo
2017

Abstract

Blood coagulation is a finely regulated physiological process culminating with the factor Xa (FXa)-mediated conversion of the prothrombin (ProT) zymogen to active -thrombin (T). In the prothrombinase complex on the platelet surface, FXa cleaves ProT at Arg-271, generating the inactive precursor pre-thrombin-2 (Pre2), which is further attacked at Arg-320 –Ile-321 to yield mature T. Whereas the mechanism of physiological ProT activation has been elucidated in great detail, little is known about the role of bacterial proteases, possibly released in the bloodstream during infection, in inducing blood coagulation by direct proteolytic ProT activation. This knowledge gap is particularly concerning, as bacterial infections are frequently complicated by severe coagulopathies. Here, we show that addition of subtilisin (50 nM to 2 M), a serine protease secreted by the non-pathogenic bacterium Bacillus subtilis, induces plasma clotting by proteolytically converting ProT into active Pre2, a nicked Pre2 derivative with a single cleaved Ala-470 –Asn-471 bond. Notably, we found that this non-canonical cleavage at Ala-470 –Asn-471 is instrumental for the onset of catalysis in Pre2, which was, however, reduced about 100 –200-fold compared with T. Of note, Pre2 could generate fibrin clots from fibrinogen, either in solution or in blood plasma, and could aggregate human platelets, either isolated or in whole blood. Our findings demonstrate that alternative cleavage of ProT by proteases, even by those secreted by non-virulent bacteria such as B. subtilis, can shift the delicate procoagulant–anticoagulant equilibrium toward thrombosis.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3263474
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