Structure and function of human fibrinogen inferred from dysfibrinogens
- Cite this article as:
- Matsuda, M. & Sugo, T. Int J Hematol (2002) 76: 352. doi:10.1007/BF03165284
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Fibrinogen is a 340-kDa plasma protein that is composed of two identical molecular halves, each consisting of three non-identical subunit polypeptides designated as Aa, Bβ- and λ-chains held together by multiple disulfide bonds. Fibrinogen has a trinodular structure, i.e., one central E domain comprizing the amino-terminal regions of paired individual three polypeptides, and two identical outer D domains. These three nodules are linked by two coiled-coil regions [1,2]. After activation with thrombin, a tripeptide segment consisting of Gly-Pro-Arg is exposed at the amino-terminus of each α-chain residing at the center of the E domain and combines with its complementary binding site, called the ‘a’ site, residing in the carboxyl-terminal region of the γ-chain in the outer D domain of another molecule. By crystallographic analysis , the α-amino group of αGly-1 is shown to be juxtaposed between the carboxyl group of γAsp-364 and the carboxyamide of Gln-329 in the ‘a’ site. Half molecule-staggered, double-stranded fibrin protofibrils are thus formed [4,5]. Upon abutment of two adjacent D domains on the same strand, D-D self association takes place involving Arg-275, Tyr-280 and Ser-300 of the γ-chain on the surface of the abutting two D domains . Thereafter, carboxyl-terminal regions of the fibrin α-chains are thought to be untethered and interact with those of other protofibrils leading to the formation of thick fibrin bundles and interwoven networks after appropriate branching [6–9]. Although many enigmas still remain regarding the mechanisms of these molecular interactions, fibrin assembly proceeds in a highly ordered fashion. In my talk, I would like to discuss these molecular interactions of fibrinogen and fibrin based on the up-date data provided by analyses of normal as well as hereditary dysfibrinogens, particularly in the latter by introducing representative molecules at each step of fibrin clot formation.