TCB Publications - Abstract

J. H. Morrissey, V. Pureza, R. L. Davis-Harrison, S. G. Sligar, Y. Z. Ohkubo, and E. Tajkhorshid. Blood clotting reactions on nanoscale phospholipid bilayers. Thrombosis Research, 122:S23-S26, 2008.

MORR2008-ET Blood clotting reactions, such as those catalyzed by the tissue factor/factor VIIa complex (TF-VIIa), assemble on membrane surfaces containing anionic phospholipids such as phosphatidylserine (PS). In fact, membrane binding is critical for the function of most of the steps in the blood clotting cascade. In spite of this, our understanding of how the membrane contributes to catalysis, or even how these proteins interact with phospholipids, is incomplete. Making matters more complicated, membranes containing mixtures of PS and neutral phospholipids are known to spontaneously form PS-rich membrane microdomains in the presence of plasma concentrations of calcium ions, and it is likely that blood-clotting proteases such as TF VIIa partition into these PS-rich microdomains. Unfortunately, little is known about how membrane microdomain composition influences the activity of blood-clotting proteases, which is typically not under experimental control even in “simple” model membranes. Our laboratories have developed and applied new technologies for studying membrane proteins to gain insights into how blood-clotting protease cofactor pairs assemble and function on membrane surfaces. This includes using a novel, nanoscale bilayer system (Nanodiscs) that permits assembling blood-clotting protease cofactor pairs on stable bilayers containing from 65 to 250 phospholipid molecules per leaflet. We have used this system to investigate how local (nanometer-scale) changes in phospholipid bilayer composition modulate TF VIIa activity. We have also used detailed molecular-dynamics simulations of nanoscale bilayers to provide atomicscale predictions of how the membrane-binding domain of factor VIIa interacts with PS in membranes.

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