The kinetics of inhibition of human and bovine alpha-thrombin and human factor Xa by antithrombin III were examined under pseudo-first-order conditions as a function of the concentration of pentosan polysulphate [a fully sulphated (beta 1-4)-linked D-xylopyranose with a single laterally positioned 4-O-methyl-alpha-D-glucuronic acid]. Double-reciprocal plots of the observed first-order rate constant against concentration of pentosan polysulphate gave straight lines, intercepts on the axes giving values for maximum increase in second-order rate constant (by calculation) and apparent dissociation constant. These values were: for human alpha-thrombin 1.52×10(7) M-1 . min-1 and 3.6 microM respectively, for bovine alpha-thrombin 6.56×10(6) M-1 . min-1 and 0.16 microM and for factor Xa 6.86×106 M-1 . min-1 and 20 microM. In the presence of pentosan polysulphate the dissociation constant for the initial complex of antithrombin III and thrombin was shown to be reduced from approx. 2×10(-3) M to 61×10(-6) M without apparent change in the limiting rate constant of 750 min-1. An oligosaccharide (primarily 8-10 saccharide units) prepared from heparin and with high affinity for antithrombin III but low potency in the thrombin-antithrombin III interaction did not diminish the rate of interaction catalysed by pentosan polysulphate. The catalysis was shown to be due to a weak electrostatic interaction, since it was completely reversed by concentrations of NaCl greater than 0.3 M. It is concluded that the mechanism is independent of the heparin high-affinity binding site on antithrombin III and is probably due to binding of the high-charge-density polysaccharide to the proteinase. It is calculated that the acceleration in rate achieved, although lower than that of heparin, approaches that required to be of physiological significance and may be of importance in the anticoagulation role of antithrombin III at sites of high charge density which may occur in vivo.

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