After vascular injury, a cascade of serine protease activations leads to the conversion of the soluble fibrinogen molecule into fibrin. The fibrin monomers then polymerize spontaneously and noncovalently to form a fibrin gel. The primary interaction of this polymerization reaction is between the newly exposed N-terminal Gly-Pro-Arg sequence of the α chain of one fibrin molecule and the C-terminal region of a γ chain of an adjacent fibrin(ogen) molecule. In this report, the polymerization pocket has been identified by determining the crystal structure of a 30-kDa C-terminal fragment of the fibrin(ogen) γ chain complexed with the peptide Gly-Pro-Arg-Pro. This peptide mimics the N terminus of the α chain of fibrin. The conformational change in the protein upon binding the peptide is subtle, with electrostatic interactions primarily mediating the association. This is consistent with biophysical experiments carried out over the last 50 years on this fundamental polymerization reaction.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - 8 Jul 1997|
- Blood coagulation