Human thrombins. Production, evaluation, and properties of alpha-thrombin

Fenton, J.W.; Fasco, M.J.; Stackrow, A.B.

Journal of Biological Chemistry 252(11): 3587-3598


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258
PMID: 16908
Accession: 068518028

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Human alpha-thrombin, the thromboplastin activation product of prothrombin with high clotting and esterase activity, was produced from Cohn Fraction III paste. The procedure started with 0.4 to 3.2 kg of frozen paste and was completed in 2 or 3 days. Some 23 g of thrombin were recorded for 65 quantitated preparations made from 11 lots of Fraction III paste. These preparations were obtained at protein concentrations of 3.9 +/- 1.3 mg/ml with a yield of 340 +/- 110 mg/kg of paste, which represented 48 +/- 14% of the clotting potential extracted as prothrombin. They had specific clotting activities of 2.8 +/- 0.4 U.S. (NIH) units/microng of protein and titrated to 88 +/- 8% active with p-nitrophenyl-p'-guanidinobenzoate (NPGB). Those (N - 29) examined by labeling with [14C]diisopropyl phosphorofluoridate (iPr2P-F) and electrophoresing in sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-polyacrylamide gels were found to contain only (N = 4) or predominantly alpha-thrombin (97 +/- 3%) and corresponding amounts of ists degradation product, beta-thrombin (2.6 +/- 3.1%). No plasmin(ogen), prothrombin complex factors (II, VII, IX, IXalpha, X, Xalpha), or prothrombin fragments were detected in representative preparations. As produced in 0.75 M NaCl, pH approximately 6, thrombin was stable for approximately 1 week at 4 degrees and for greater than 1 year at less than or equal to 50 degrees; freeze-dried thrombin stored at 4 degrees for greater than 1 year displayed stable clotting activity and no vial to vial variation, permitting its use for reference purposes. Human thrombin generated by Taipan snake venom activation was compared with that produced by rapid thromboplastin activation: after treatment with [14C]iPr2P-F, greater than 95% of the label in both thrombins migrated at the same rate during electrophoresis in SDS; identical pairs of NH2-terminal residues were released in three consecutive Edman degradation cycles.