Activated protein C cofactor function of protein S: a novel role for a γ-carboxyglutamic acid residue.

PMID 21508412


Protein S has an important anticoagulant function by acting as a cofactor for activated protein C (APC). We recently reported that the EGF1 domain residue Asp95 is critical for APC cofactor function. In the present study, we examined whether additional interaction sites within the Gla domain of protein S might contribute to its APC cofactor function. We examined 4 residues, composing the previously reported "Face1" (N33S/P35T/E36A/Y39V) variant, as single point substitutions. Of these protein S variants, protein S E36A was found to be almost completely inactive using calibrated automated thrombography. In factor Va inactivation assays, protein S E36A had 89% reduced cofactor activity compared with wild-type protein S and was almost completely inactive in factor VIIIa inactivation; phospholipid binding was, however, normal. Glu36 lies outside the ω-loop that mediates Ca(2+)-dependent phospholipid binding. Using mass spectrometry, it was nevertheless confirmed that Glu36 is γ-carboxylated. Our finding that Gla36 is important for APC cofactor function, but not for phospholipid binding, defines a novel function (other than Ca(2+) coordination/phospholipid binding) for a Gla residue in vitamin K-dependent proteins. It also suggests that residues within the Gla and EGF1 domains of protein S act cooperatively for its APC cofactor function.

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