The Influence of Sequence Variation on von Willebrand Factor Biosynthesis, Proteolytic Processing and Clearance

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Pruss, Cynthia Marie
von Willebrand Factor , ADAMTS13 , Hemostasis , Thrombosis , von Willebrand Disease , Bleeding , Clotting , Pathology
Von Willebrand factor (VWF) promotes platelet adhesion and aggregation at sites of vascular damage. This function is directly related to the multimer size of VWF. The VWF-specific metalloprotease ADAMTS13 decreases VWF multimer size by cleaving at Y1605-M1606 in the VWF A2 domain. This thesis examined the sensitivity of ADAMTS13 cleavage to mutagenesis of the full-length multimerized VWF substrate, and a small VWF A2 domain fragment, VWF115. The ADAMTS13 cleavage site at Y1605-M1606 was mutated with the most severe loss of cleavage observed in Y1605A/M1606A. In addition, 4 single nucleotide polymorphisms were examined, with D1472H, Q1571H, P1601T proteins all showing increased resistance to cleavage. In contrast, G1643S has enhanced cleavage in the full-length VWF substrate but shows cleavage resistance in VWF115. Three von Willebrand disease mutations were also examined. In patients, R1597W has enhanced ADAMTS13 cleavage and a loss of high molecular weight multimers, while R1205H has enhanced protein clearance resulting in very low VWF levels and Y1584C patients have moderately low VWF levels. R1597W has enhanced cleavage of full-length VWF, while a slight cleavage increase is observed in VWF115 for Y1584C, and no change is seen with R1205H. The VWF mutations R1597W, Y1605A/M1606A, R1205H and Y1584C were further examined in the VWF knockout mouse using recombinant VWF protein infusion and hydrodynamic delivery of VWF cDNA to determine the effects these mutations produce on VWF antigen levels, multimer structure, secretion, clearance and function in a thrombotic injury model. All four mutations had different pathogenic mechanisms. R1597W showed accelerated clearance with loss of multimer structure, and greatly increased time to thrombotic occlusion. Y1605A/M1606A showed accelerated clearance with normal or supranormal multimer structure, a loss of thrombotic occlusion but increased platelet accumulation. Y1584C showed no change in protein clearance, with decreased VWF antigen level, reduced multimer structure, and reduced thrombotic potential. R1205H demonstrated a synthetic defect in vitro and in vivo increased clearance with a decrease in VWF antigen levels and normal multimer structure and a variable thrombotic potential. These results validate the use of the genetically-modified VWF knockout mouse model for evaluating the pathogenic mechanisms of putative VWF mutations.
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