Contribution of Amino Acid Region 659–663 of Factor VA Heavy Chain to the Activity of Factor Xa Within Prothrombinase

Jamila Hirbawi, Department of Chemistry, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio 44115, USA.
John L. Vaughn
Michael A. Bukys
Hans L. Vos
Michael Kalafatis

This work was supported by predoctoral Fellowship Award for Minority Students F31 HL-085928 from the National Institutes of Health (to J.H.), predoctoral Fellowship 0715435B from the American Heart Association Ohio Valley Affiliate (to M.A.B.), Grant R01 HL-73343 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (to M.K.), and National Institutes of Health Training Grant T32 HL 007914.


Factor Va, the cofactor of prothrombinase, is composed of heavy and light chains associated noncovalently in the presence of divalent metal ions. The COOH-terminal region of the heavy chain contains acidic amino acid clusters that are important for cofactor activity. In this work, we have investigated the role of amino acid region 659-663, which contains five consecutive acidic amino acid residues, by site-directed mutagenesis. We have generated factor V molecules in which all residues were mutated to either lysine (factor V(5K)) or alanine (factor V(5A)). We have also constructed a mutant molecule with this region deleted (factor V(Δ659-663)). The recombinant molecules along with wild-type factor V (factor V(WT)) were transiently expressed in mammalian cells, purified, and assessed for cofactor activity. Two-stage clotting assays revealed that the mutant molecules had reduced clotting activities compared to that of factor Va(WT). Kinetic analyses of prothrombinase assembled with the mutant molecules demonstrated diminished k(cat) values, while the affinity of all mutant molecules for factor Xa was similar to that for factor Va(WT). Gel electrophoresis analyses of plasma-derived and recombinant mutant prothrombin activation demonstrated delayed cleavage of prothrombin at both Arg(320) and Arg(271) by prothrombinase assembled with the mutant molecules, resulting in meizothrombin lingering throughout the activation process. These results were confirmed after analysis of the cleavage of FPR-meizothrombin. Our findings provide new insights into the structural contribution of the acidic COOH-terminal region of factor Va heavy chain to factor Xa activity within prothrombinase and demonstrate that amino acid region 659-663 from the heavy chain of the cofactor contributes to the regulation of the rate of cleavage of prothrombin by prothrombinase.