Anticoagulant Protein S Targets the Factor IXa Heparin-Binding Exosite to Prevent Thrombosis
Objective—PS (protein S) is a plasma protein that directly inhibits the coagulation FIXa (factor IXa) in vitro. Because elevated FIXa is associated with increased risk of venous thromboembolism, it is important to establish how PS inhibits FIXa function in vivo. The goal of this study is to confirm direct binding of PS with FIXa in vivo, identify FIXa amino acid residues required for binding PS in vivo, and use an enzymatically active FIXa mutant that is unable to bind PS to measure the significance of PS–FIXa interaction in hemostasis.
Approach and Results—We demonstrate that PS inhibits FIXa in vivo by associating with the FIXa heparin-binding exosite. We used fluorescence tagging, immunohistochemistry, and protein–protein crosslinking to show in vivo interaction between FIXa and PS. Importantly, platelet colocalization required a direct interaction between the 2 proteins. FIXa and PS also coimmunoprecipitated from plasma, substantiating their interaction in a physiological milieu. PS binding to FIXa and PS inhibition of the intrinsic Xase complex required residues K132, K126, and R170 in the FIXa heparin-binding exosite. A double mutant, K132A/R170A, retained full activity but could not bind to PS. Crucially, Hemophilia B mice infused with FIXa K132A/R170A displayed an accelerated rate of fibrin clot formation compared with wild-type FIXa.
Conclusions—Our findings establish PS as an important in vivo inhibitor of FIXa. Disruption of the interaction between PS and FIXa causes an increased rate of thrombus formation in mice. This newly discovered function of PS implies an unexploited target for antithrombotic therapeutics.
- Received September 19, 2017.
- Accepted January 16, 2018.
- © 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.