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:3/17/2016)... 17, 2016 ABI Research, the leader ... global biometrics market will reach more than $30 ... from 2015. Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, continue to ... anticipated to reach two billion shipments by 2021 ... Pavlakis , Research Analyst at ABI Research. "Surveillance ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... -- NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a ... airing of a new series of commercials on Time Warner ... st .  The commercials will air on Bloomberg TV, Fox ... Street show. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the ... announces the airing of a new series of commercials on ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... , March 11, 2016 ... new market research report "Image Recognition Market by Technology ... (Marketing and Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises and Cloud), ... To 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is ... to USD 29.98 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lady had been battling arthritis since ... ligament in her left knee. Lady’s owner Hannah sought the help of Dr Jeff ... surgeon, to repair her cruciate ligament and help with the pain of Lady’s arthritis. ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... newly re-branded identity. The new Media Cybernetics corporate branding reflects a results-driven revitalization ... imaging and image analysis. The re-branding components include a crisp, refreshed logo and ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... , May 23, 2016 - Leading ... 40% - Frontage Implement a Single Platform to Manage ... and Traceability Within the Bioanalytical lab Frontage Laboratories, a ... United States and China , has ... laboratory facilities. In addition to serving as the global electronic lab ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... ... and consumer goods companies, today announced its official 25th anniversary of the business. “We ... we are so grateful to our customers for the privilege and honor of serving ...
Breaking Biology Technology: