Antiangiogenic Function of Antithrombin is Dependent on its Conformational Variation: Implication for Other Serpins

ISSN: 1875-5305 (Online)
ISSN: 0929-8665 (Print)

Volume 23, 12 Issues, 2016

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Protein & Peptide Letters

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Antiangiogenic Function of Antithrombin is Dependent on its Conformational Variation: Implication for Other Serpins

Protein & Peptide Letters, Volume 19 (E-pub ahead of print)

Author(s): Asim Azhar, Poonam Singh, Qudsia Rashid, Asma Naseem, Mohammad Sazzad Khan and Mohamad Aman Jairajpuri.

Affiliation: Protein Conformation and Enzymology Lab, Dept. of Bio-Sciences, University of Jamia Millia Islamia (a Central University), Jamia Nagar, New-Delhi-110025, India


Endogenous angiogenesis inhibitor that specifically decreases tumor cell proliferation can be used to treat cancer since angiogenesis is required at every step of tumor progression and metastasis. Endothelial cells are the main target for the antiangiogenic therapy because they are non-transformed and easily accessible to angiogenic inhibitors. Antithrombin functions as a principal plasma protein inhibitor of blood coagulation proteinases and belongs to the family of serine protease inhibitors (serpins) which have common mechanism of inhibition. Antithrombin acquires a potent antiangiogenic activity upon conversion of the native molecule to cleaved or latent conformation. Cleaved and latent preparations of bovine and human plasma derived antithrombin inhibited capillary endothelial cell proliferation and the growth of human SK-NAS neuroblastoma and Lewis lung carcinoma tumors in mice as compared to the native antithrombin. The native form of antithrombin binds with high affinity to vascular heparan sulfate proteoglycans containing a specific pentasaccharide sequence and it is this cofactor interaction that activated antithrombin to maximal rate of thrombin inhibition. Upon inhibitory complex formation with target proteinases the antithrombin undergoes stressed to relaxed transformation and lose their high affinity for pentasacchride. Low affinity relaxed conformation with reduced heparin binding like cleaved and latent are antiangiogenic but native high affinity heparin binding stressed conformation is not, indicating the critical importance of heparin affinity in antithrombin antiangiogenic function. Based on evidence of interactions of the endothelial cell growth factors bFGF (Basic fibroblast growth factor) and VEGF (vascular endothelial cell growth factor) with heparin like molecule in matrix, the possibility of antiangiogenic antithrombin to interfere with endothelial cell growth and angiogenesis through heparin mediated mechanism deserves serious consideration and investigation. It is also possible that cleaved and latent conformations with reduced affinity for heparins can also induce conformational change in the antithrombin which can open an epitope on the antithrombin surface for appropriate interactions on the endothelial surface for better antiangiogenic activity. This review illustrates the potential of antithrombin and other serpin family members as endogenous antiangiogenic proteins.


Angiogenesis, antiangiogenic proteins, antithrombin, heparin binding, Reactive center loop, Serpin.

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Article Details

Volume: 19
First Page: 1
Last Page: 9
Page Count: 9
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