Thrombin is a serine proteinase that plays a key role in thrombosis and haemostasis through its interaction with several coagulation factors. Anhydrothrombin was prepared from PMSF-inactivated thrombin under alkaline conditions, and the folded anhydrothrombin was successfully recovered after dialysis in the presence of glycerol. Anhydro-derivatives of factor Xa, factor VIIa and activated protein C could also be prepared essentially by the same procedure. Anhydrothrombin retained affinity for various natural substrates of thrombin, including fibrinogen, factor VIII, factor XIII and protein C. In addition, these proteins were bound to anhydrothrombin–agarose in a reversible manner. The Kd values for factor VIII, fibrinogen, factor XIII and protein C were 1.2×10-8, 4.4×10-8, 2.8×10-7 and 8.1×10-5M, respectively. Thus thrombin substrates known to interact with the exosite I of thrombin demonstrated high affinity for anhydrothrombin. Furthermore, in the presence of Na+, substantial enhancement of the association rate constant (kass) was observed for interactions of fibrinogen and factor VIII with anhydrothrombin. These results suggest that anhydrothrombin is useful in the purification of thrombin substrate proteins as well as in the investigation of detailed interactions between thrombin and these substrates in their activation or degradation processes.

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