Factor XIIa as a novel target for thrombosis: Target engagement requirement and efficacy in a rabbit model of microembolic signals

Christopher M. Barbieri, Xinkang Wang, Weizhen Wu, Xueping Zhou, Aimie M. Ogawa, Kim O'Neill, Donald Chu, Gino Castriota, Dietmar A. Seiffert, David E. Gutstein, Zhu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Coagulation Factor XII (FXII) plays a critical role in thrombosis. What is unclear is the level of enzyme occupancy of FXIIa that is needed for efficacy and the impact of FXIIa inhibition on cerebral embolism. A selective activated FXII (FXIIa) inhibitor, recombinant human albumin-tagged mutant Infestin-4 (rHA-Mut-inf), was generated to address these questions. rHA-Mut-inf displayed potency comparable to the original wild-type HA-Infestin-4 (human FXIIa inhibition constant 5 0.07 and 0.12 nM, respectively), with markedly improved selectivity against Factor Xa (FXa) and plasmin. rHA-Mut-inf binds FXIIa, but not FXII zymogen, and competitively inhibits FXIIa protease activity. Its mode of action is hence akin to typical small-molecule inhibitors. Plasma shift and aPTT studies with rHA-Mut-inf demonstrated that calculated enzyme occupancy for FXIIa in achieving a putative aPTT doubling target in human, nonhuman primate, and rabbit is more than 99.0%. The effects of rHA-Mut-inf in carotid arterial thrombosis andmicroembolic signal (MES) in middle cerebral artery were assessed simultaneously in rabbits. Dose-dependent inhibition was observed for both arterial thrombosis and MES. The ED50 of thrombus formation was 0.17 mg/kg i.v. rHA-Mut-inf for the integrated blood flow and 0.16 mg/kg for thrombus weight; the ED50 for MES was 0.06 mg/kg. Ex vivo aPTT tracked with efficacy. In summary, our findings demonstrated that very high enzyme occupancy will be required for FXIIa active site inhibitors, highlighting the high potency and exquisite selectivity necessary for achieving efficacy in humans. Our MES studies suggest that targeting FXIIa may offer a promising strategy for stroke prevention associated with thromboembolic events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-475
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


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