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Thrombin activation of protein C requires prior processing by a liver proprotein convertase.


ABSTRACT: Protein C, a secretory vitamin K-dependent anticoagulant serine protease, inactivates factors Va/VIIIa. It is exclusively synthesized in liver hepatocytes as an inactive zymogen (proprotein C). In humans, thrombin cleavage of the propeptide at PR221↓ results in activated protein C (APC; residues 222-461). However, the propeptide is also cleaved by a furin-like proprotein convertase(s) (PCs) at KKRSHLKR199↓ (underlined basic residues critical for the recognition by PCs), but the order of cleavage is unknown. Herein, we present evidence that at the surface of COS-1 cells, mouse proprotein C is first cleaved by the convertases furin, PC5/6A, and PACE4. In mice, this cleavage occurs at the equivalent site, KKRKILKR198↓, and requires the presence of Arg198 at P1 and a combination of two other basic residues at either P2 (Lys197), P6 (Arg193), or P8 (Lys191) positions. Notably, the thrombin-resistant R221A mutant is still cleaved by these PCs, revealing that convertase cleavage can precede thrombin activation. This conclusion was supported by the fact that the APC-specific activity in the medium of COS-1 cells is exclusively dependent on prior cleavage by the convertases, because both R198A and R221A lack protein C activity. Primary cultures of hepatocytes derived from wild-type or hepatocyte-specific furin, PC5/6, or complete PACE4 knock-out mice suggested that the cleavage of overexpressed proprotein C is predominantly performed by furin intracellularly and by all three proprotein convertases at the cell surface. Indeed, plasma analyses of single-proprotein convertase-knock-out mice showed that loss of the convertase furin or PC5/6 in hepatocytes results in a ∼30% decrease in APC levels, with no significant contribution from PACE4. We conclude that prior convertase cleavage of protein C in hepatocytes is critical for its thrombin activation.

SUBMITTER: Essalmani R 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5481563 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): rs765517843

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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