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Stressed proteins can cause blood clots for hours
Date:3/5/2013

r" -- which can arise in partially occluded arterial blood vessels with high flow rates -- could cause PVWF to become sticky to platelets.

"That's all we knew," Moake said. "We didn't know how the conformation of the PVWF protein changed. That is why Dr. Kiang's research is so important and makes it more likely that therapeutic interventions can be more rationally designed."

To study the problem, Kiang's lab worked closely with Moake's team at Rice's BioScience Research Collaborativeand with researchers from the laboratory of co-author Jing-fei Dong, formerly of BCM and now at PSBC in Seattle. Moake's and Dong's groups prepared samples of PVWF, subjecting some to the shear stresses known to induce clot formation. Kiang's team used AFMs to test the samples. Through a combination of experiments and deductive reasoning, her team determined exactly which portion of PVWF changed its conformation during shear stress. They also determined how long the protein remained partially unfurled before relaxing into its natural shape.

"The next step will be to design new experiments that allow us to monitor the proteins as they bind to platelets and initiate clot formation," Kiang said. "That will tell us even more about the physical properties of the proteins and provide more clues about potential therapies."


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Contact: David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

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