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Keywords:

  • ADAMTS13;
  • cleavage;
  • hemostasis;
  • mouse model;
  • von Willebrand disease;
  • von Willebrand factor

Summary.

Background:  von Willebrand Factor (VWF) is tightly regulated by the metalloproteinase ADAMTS13, which cleaves VWF to reduce VWF multimer size and binding affinity for collagen and platelets.

Objective:  This study examines two VWF mutations, R1597W (enhanced cleavage) and Y1605A-M1606A (decreased cleavage), to determine their impact on VWF, in addition to ADAMTS13-mediated cleavage.

Methods: In vitro mouse ADAMTS13 digestions were performed on recombinant proteins. VWF knockout mice received hydrodynamic injections of mouse Vwf cDNA, following which VWF antigen, multimer profile and VWF propeptide levels were determined. A ferric chloride injury model of thrombosis was also evaluated.

Results: In vitro ADAMTS13 digestion of full-length mouse VWF required > 97-fold higher ADAMTS13 levels for Y1605A/M1606A, and 68% lower ADAMTS13 levels for R1597W compared with wild type. In vivo, R1597W had reduced VWF:Ag and both mutations exhibited increased VWF propeptide/VWF:Ag ratios. R1597W multimers show a lower molecular weight profile compared with wild type and Y1605A/M1606A mice. When co-injected with Adamts13 cDNA, Y1605A/M1606A multimers were larger compared with wild type, and R1597W showed only a single multimer band and decreased clearance via VWFpp/VWF:Ag ratio. R1597W was associated with reduced thrombus formation but normal platelet accumulation in a ferric chloride injury model while Y1605A/M1606A had a loss of occlusive thrombi but increased platelet accumulation compared with wild type.

Conclusions:  This study demonstrates that mutations that alter ADAMTS13 cleavage also can affect VWF clearance, VWF antigen level, multimer structure and thrombotic potential in the VWF knockout hydrodynamic injection model.