Heparin binding to platelet factor-4

K. H. Mayo, E. Ilyina, V. Roongta, M. Dundas, J. Joseph, C. K. Lai, T. Maione, T. J. Daly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Native platelet factor-4 (PF4) is an asymmetrically associated, homo-tetrameric protein (70 residues/subunit) known for binding polysulphated glycosaminoglycans like heparin. PF4 N-terminal chimeric mutant M2 (PF4-M2), on the other hand, forms symmetric tetramers making NMR studies with this 32 kDa protein tractable. PF4-M2, moreover, binds heparin with a similar affinity to that of native PF4. NMR data presented here indicate that heparin (9000 Da cut-off) binding to PF4-M2, while not perturbing the overall structure of the protein, does perturb specific side-chain proton resonances which map to spatially related residues within a ring of positively charged side chains on the surface of tetrameric PF4-M2. Contrary to PF4-heparin binding models which centre around C-terminal α-helix lysines, this study indicates that a loop containing Arg-20, Arg-22, His-23 and Thr-25, as well as Lys-46 and Arg-49, are even more affected by heparin binding. Site-directed mutagenesis and heparin binding data support these NMR findings by indicating that arginines more than C-terminal lysines, are crucial to the heparin binding process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-365
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995

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