The activation of coagulation factors V and X by Russell's viper venom (RVV) has been implicated in the development of consumptive coagulopathies in severely envenomed patients. However, factor Va is prone to inactivation by activated protein C (APC), an important serine protease that negatively regulates blood coagulation. It is therefore hypothesized that APC may be down-regulated by some of the venom components. In this study, we managed to isolate a potent Kunitz-type APC inhibitor, named DrKIn-I. Using chromogenic substrate, DrKIn-I dose-dependently inhibited the activity of APC. Heparin potentiated the inhibition and reduced the IC50 of DrKIn-I by 25-fold. DrKIn-I, together with heparin, also protected factor Va from APC-mediated inactivation. Using surface plasmon resonance, DrKIn-I exhibited fast binding kinetics with APC (association rate constant = 1.7 × 10 7 M-1 s-1). Direct binding assays and kinetic studies revealed that this inhibition (Ki=53 pM) is due to the tight binding interactions of DrKIn-I with both heparin and APC. DrKIn-I also effectively reversed the anticoagulant activity of APC and completely restored the thrombin generation in APC-containing plasma. Furthermore, although the injection of either DrKIn-I or RVV-X (the venom factor X-activator) into ICR mice did not significantly deplete the plasma fibrinogen concentration, co-administration of DrKIn-I with RVV-X resulted in complete fibrinogen consumption and the deposition of fibrin thrombi in the glomerular capillaries. Our results provide new insights into the pathogenesis of RVV-induced coagulopathies and indicate that DrKIn-I is a novel APC inhibitor that is associated with potentially fatal thrombotic complications in Russell's viper envenomation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology