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:3/9/2016)... YORK , March 9, 2016 This ... and future states of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) ... segments such as instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, ... Analyze various segments of the RNA-Sequencing market such as ... services Identify the main factors affecting each segment and ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... 3, 2016  FlexTech, a SEMI Strategic Association Partner, ... Research & Development, Leadership in Education, and, in a ... 9 th year of the FLEXI Awards and ... individuals from past years . Judging was done ... set of criteria, by a panel of non-affiliated, independent, ...
(Date:3/2/2016)... , March 2, 2016 ... addition of the "Global Biometrics as ... their offering. --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/cmt3hk/global_biometrics ... "Global Biometrics as a Service Market ... --> Research and Markets ( ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... necessary fundamentals to transform technology into a viable company, CereScan’s CEO, John Kelley, ... Mr. Kelley, a recognized leader and mentor in the Denver area business community, ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Elekta is pleased to announce ... industry-leading treatment planning software, is available for clinical release. ... version 5.11 provides significant performance speed enhancements over ... to four times faster than in previous versions of ... standard Monte Carlo algorithm, users ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... Connecticut's innovative, growing companies, today announced the launch of VentureClash , a ... companies. , “VentureClash looks to attract the best early-stage companies here ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... Morris Midwest ( ... for regional manufacturers at its Maple Grove, Minnesota technical center, May 11-12. ... and Trumpf. Almost 20 leading suppliers of tooling, accessories, software and other ...
Breaking Biology Technology: