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2678 Binding of Gpibα to VWF A2 Domain Alters Mechanical Unraveling of the A2 Domain

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 321. Blood Coagulation and Fibrinolytic Factors: Poster III
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Biological Processes, molecular interactions, pathways
Monday, December 7, 2020, 7:00 AM-3:30 PM

Yi Liu, MS1*, Wenpeng Cao, PhD2*, Wenjing Cao, MD, PhD3*, X. Long Zheng, MD, PhD4* and Xiaohui Zhang, PhD5

1Department of Bioengineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
2Departments of Bioengineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
3Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,, The University of Kansas Medical Center,, Kansas City, KS
4University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
5Department of Bioengineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

Background: Von Willebrand factor (VWF), is a large, multimeric plasma glycoprotein that plays a critical role in hemostasis. VWF is synthesized and secreted as ultra large (UL) multimers that contain up to 100 protomers. If not processed by ADAMTS13, a plasma metalloprotease, ULVWF may initiate the spontaneous formation of life-threatening thrombi, as seen in thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). The cleavage site is buried under the central β-sheet within the VWF-A2 domain and tensile force is required to expose the cleavage site for ADAMTS13. Our prior studies demonstrate that several VWF-binding proteins, including coagulation factor VIII, apoB100/LDL, as well as the ectodomains of platelet glycoprotein Iba (GPIba), appear to function as cofactors that facilitate the proteolytic cleavage of VWF by ADAMTS13 under shear. However, the mechanism underlying GPIba enhancing effect on ADAMTS13-mediated VWF proteolysis is yet to be determined.

Methods: Recombinant human GPIbα was purchased from Sino Biological. The recombinant VWF-A2 domain fragment with a SpyTag on the N-terminus and an AviTag-HisTag on the C-terminus was expressed in the HEK 293T cells and affinity-purified by the Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. Biotinylation was performed in vitro using a biotin-labeling kit. The binding between VWF-A2 and GPIbα was studied by a custom-built atomic force microscope (AFM) using our established single-molecule binding study protocol. MicroScale Thermophoresis was conducted by a Monolith device to detect the binding affinity between the VWF-A2 and GPIbα. A dual-beam mini-tweezers instrument was utilized to characterize the force-induced conformational changes of the A2 domain in the absence and presence of GPIbα with a pulling speed of 200 nm/s.

Results: AFM results indicated that specific binding interactions occurred between GPIbα and VWF-A2. Monolith MST assay revealed a strong binding affinity (Kd of ~20 nM) between GPIbα and the VWF-A2 fragment. In the optical tweezer study, pulling on a single VWF-A2 resulted in an unfolding event at 10-30 pN with an extension ranging from 30 to 40 nm (Fig. 1A). Gaussian fits of the unfolding extension distributions revealed a most probable force-induced extension of 34.87 ± 2.2 nm (mean ± SEM) (Fig. 1B). Addition of 100 nM of GPIbα led to a noticeable decrease in both unfolding force and extension of VWF-A2 (Fig. 1A). The most probable unfolding extension reduced to 16.05 ± 0.2 nm in the presence of 100 nM of GPIbα (Fig. 1B), indicating the binding of GPIbα may influence mechanical unfolding of VWF-A2. Further, the unfolding results were analyzed by a worm-like chain model fit, which yielded a contour length for the initially folded structure of VWF-A2 at 58.83 ± 2.0 nm (mean ± SEM) and 24.53 ± 0.2 nm in the absence and presence of GPIbα, respectively (Fig. 1C), indicating that the specific interactions between GPIbα and A2 domain may partially unfold the A2 domain.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate for the first time that binding of GPIbα to VWF-A2 may alter the force-induced conformational changes in the A2 domain. Under physiological conditions, the glycocalicin (or soluble GP1bα) may bind the VWF-A2 and cause A2 partial unfolding, which may result in excessive cleavage of VWF by ADAMTS13, thus regulating hemostasis.

Figure legend:

Fig.1. GPIbα influences the mechanical unfolding of the A2 domain of VWF. (A) Typical optical tweezer pulling traces of A2 domain in the absence (red) and presence (blue) of GPIbα (100 nM). The arrows point to the unfolding events. The pulling speed is 200 nm/s. (B) The histograms of the unfolding extension of pulling VWF-A2 in the absence (red) or presence (blue) of 100 nM of GPIbα at 200 nm/s. Solid lines are Gaussian fits to the distributions. (C) The relationship between unfolding force (pN) and unfolding extension (nm) of pulling the VWF-A2 in the absence (red) or presence (blue) of 100 nM of GPIbα. The data are fitted to the worm-like chain model (solid lines). Horizontal and vertical error bars are one standard deviation for force and half width of the half bin width for extension, respectively.

Disclosures: Cao: Ivygen: Consultancy; Bayer: Research Funding. Zheng: Sanofi: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Clotsolution: Other: Co-Founder; Alexion: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Takeda: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau.

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