Essential thrombin residues for inhibition by protein C inhibitor with the cofactors heparin and thrombomodulin

Yolanda M. Fortenberry, H. C. Whinna, S. T. Cooper, T. Myles, L. L.K. Leung, F. C. Church

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Protein C inhibitor (PCI) and antithrombin (AT) are serine protease inhibitors (serpins) that inhibit a wide array of blood coagulation serine proteases including thrombin. Objective: Fifty-five Ala-scanned recombinant thrombin mutants were used to determine thrombin residues important for inhibition by PCI with and without the cofactors heparin and thrombomodulin (TM) and compared with the prototypical serpin, AT. Results: Residues around the active site (Tyr50 and Glu202) and the sodium-binding site (Glu229 and Arg233) were required for thrombin inhibition by PCI with and without cofactors. Exosite-2 residues (Arg89, Arg93, Glu94, Arg98, Arg245, Arg248, and Gln251) were critical for heparin-accelerated inhibition of thrombin by PCI. Exosite-1 residues (especially Lys65 and Tyr71) were required for enhanced PCI inhibition of thrombin-TM. Interestingly, we also found that the TM chondroitin sulfate moiety is not required for the ∼150-fold enhanced rate of thrombin inhibition by PCI. Using the aforementioned thrombin exosite-2 mutants that were essential for heparin-catalyzed PCI-thrombin inhibition reactions we found no change in PCI inhibition rates for thrombin-TM. Conclusions: Collectively, these results show that (i) similar thrombin exosite-2 residues are critical for the heparin-catalyzed inhibition by PCI and AT, (ii) PCI and AT are different in their thrombin-TM inhibition properties, and (iii) PCI has a distinct advantage over AT in the regulation of the activity of thrombin-TM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1486-1492
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Antithrombin
  • Chondroitin sulfate
  • Protein C inhibitor
  • Serpins
  • Thrombin
  • Thrombomodulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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