Navigation Links
X-ray crystallography reveals structure of precursor to blood-clotting protein
Date:11/2/2010

ST. LOUIS Using state-of-the-art robotic and x-ray crystallographic equipment, researchers at Saint Louis University have revealed for the first time the molecular structure of the zymogen, or inactive, form of a blood-clotting enzyme.

In an article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Enrico Di Cera, M.D., chair of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and lead researcher of the study, said the NIH-funded research offers important information about the protein.

"This research is very basic and very important," said Di Cera. "It provides a missing link between the inactive zymogen form of thrombin and the mature enzyme generated upon vascular injury."

Before thrombin becomes active, it circulates throughout the blood in the inactive zymogen form. When the active enzyme is needed, for example after a vascular injury, the coagulation cascade is initiated and the zymogen is converted into an active enzyme that causes blood to clot.

Blood clotting performs the important function of stopping blood loss after an injury. However, when triggered in the wrong conditions, clotting can lead to debilitating or fatal conditions like heart attack, stroke and deep vein thrombosis.

In previous laboratory research, Di Cera re-engineered thrombin to act as an anticoagulant, stopping blood from clotting and opening the door to the development of new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of thrombosis, the presence of blood clots in blood vessels, which is responsible for nearly a third of all deaths in the U.S.

While researchers have an understanding of the structure of active thrombin, very little was known about its zymogen form. In order to learn more, researchers used x-ray crystallography to gather data about the molecular structure of the protein.

The process involves growing a crystal of the protein, shooting x-ray beams through the crystal and analyzing the diffraction pattern generated on a detector plate in order to detail the three-dimensional structure of the protein.

The structure of the zymogen form of thrombin provides crucial details about the activation mechanism that sheds light on the way the mature enzyme works. Future research can capitalize on these new findings to define better strategies for therapeutic intervention.

"Until now, we've known nothing about the zymogen form of thrombin or any blood-clotting enzyme," said Di Cera. "All the structural information has been limited to the active form.

"We now know that the zymogen form of thrombin is very different from the mature enzyme, in ways that open new opportunities for therapeutic intervention."


'/>"/>

Contact: Carrie Bebermeyer
bebermcl@slu.edu
314-977-8015
Saint Louis University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists using X-ray vision to produce more nutritious flour
2. Researchers demonstrate nanoscale X-ray imaging of bacterial cells
3. E-beam and X-ray irradiation technologies
4. Lensless imaging of whole biological cells with soft X-rays
5. First X-ray lasers early success brings approval for next-phase facility
6. Early results from the worlds brightest X-ray source
7. LiXEdrom: Innovative measuring chamber for X-ray study of liquid jets
8. An X-ray for your genes
9. X-ray diffraction may play key role in stopping kissing bug, fungus
10. Study reveals homeowner perceptions in fire-prone areas
11. Study reveals specific gene in adolescent men with delinquent peers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal ... and MD EMR Systems , an electronic ... for GE, have established a partnership to build ... and the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice ... These new integrations will allow healthcare ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in ... media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec ... provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming ... NAB show at the Las Vegas Convention ... Click ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 ... identity management and secure authentication solutions, today announced ... contract by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) ... for IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has ... onset and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... Biologist Dawn Maslar MS has found ... latest book, Men Chase, Women Choose: The Neuroscience of Meeting, Dating, Losing Your Mind, ... effect on men. ”The logical next step, in my estimation, was to scientifically track ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... GigaGen Inc ... millions-diverse immune repertoires, announces launch of its new Surge(TM) Discovery service ... CEO of GigaGen, will present on Surge at the conference. , Surge is ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... , ... June 16, 2017 , ... ... compliance and commercialization, has just announced two more sessions of its “From the ... will focus on the world of online templates for design control exercises. Led ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... The ... an artist’s journey through creative experimentation and interdisciplinary collaboration. Feature Creep, a solo ... 22nd. An opening reception will be held at EKG, located at 3600 Market ...
Breaking Biology Technology: