Interaction of heparin with synthetic antithrombin III peptide analogues

J. Bae, U. R. Desai, A. Pervin, E. E.O. Caldwell, J. M. Weiler, R. J. Linhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Heparin-binding proteins may contain specific patterns of basic amino acids, called consensus sequences, that interact with heparin. Small peptides were synthesized that contained consensus sequences (i.e. FAKLNCRLYRKANKSSK) or disrupted consensus sequences (i.e. K136 → A) based on the known sequence of antithrombin III (amino acid residues 123-139). These peptides were then examined in both competitive and non-competitive binding experiments using bioassays, fluorescence spectroscopy, affinity chromatography and n.m.r. spectroscopy. Both the consensus and disrupted-consensus peptide bound to heparin. Peptides with consensus sequences bound specifically to the pentasaccharide antithrombin III-binding site within heparin. In contrast, peptides with disrupted consensus sequences showed no specificity, binding to any sequence within heparin. Proton nuclear Overhauser enhancement spectroscopy demonstrated the proximity of leucine and tyrosine (within the consensus sequence) to the N-acetyl moiety found primarily within the pentasaccharide antithrombin III-binding site of heparin. This experiment confirmed the findings of the other techniques and helped to localize the binding sites in both peptides and heparin. A model is proposed for both specific and non-specific heparin interaction with consensus and disrupted-consensus peptides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


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