Heparin cofactor II is a naturally occurring anticoagulant that acts by specifically inhibiting thrombin and is facilitated by the binding of glycosaminoglycans such as heparin and dermatan sulfate. In vivo, heparin cofactor II-glycosaminoglycan complexes dissociate, leaving the inhibitor less active in its ability to function as a component of the anticoagulation pathway. We have produced permanently activated heparin cofactor II molecules by covalent linkage to either heparin or dermatan sulfate. Covalent heparin cofactor II-heparin and heparin cofactor II-dermatan sulfate complexes had catalytic antithrombin activities similar to those of the corresponding starting heparin and dermatan sulfate (86% and 110% of standard heparin and dermatan sulfate activity, respectively). Both heparin cofactor II-heparin and heparin cofactor II-dermatan sulfate had fast bimolecular rate constants of 1.4 x 10(7) M-1 s-1 and 1.3 x 10(7) M-1 s-1, respectively, for reaction with thrombin. The intravenous half-life of the covalent complexes in rabbits was significantly longer than that of free heparin or dermatan sulfate (4.4, 3.4, 0.33, and 0.50 h for heparin cofactor II-heparin, heparin cofactor II-dermatan sulfate, heparin, and dermatan sulfate, respectively). Given their unique properties, these conjugates may have a clinical application for long term, selective inhibition of thrombin.
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View details for PubMedID 9837939