The non-catalytic B subunit of coagulation factor XIII accelerates fibrin cross-linking [Molecular Bases of Disease]

March 25th, 2015 by Souri, M., Osaki, T., Ichinose, A.

Covalent cross-linking of fibrin chains is required for stable blood clot formation, which is catalyzed by coagulation factor XIII (FXIII), a proenzyme of plasma transglutaminase consisting of catalytic A (FXIII-A), and non-catalytic B subunits (FXIII-B). Herein, we demonstrate that FXIII-B accelerates fibrin cross-linking. Depletion of FXIII-B from normal plasma supplemented with a physiological level of recombinant FXIII-A resulted in delayed fibrin cross-linking, reduced incorporation of FXIII-A into fibrin clots, and impaired activation peptide cleavage by thrombin; addition of recombinant FXIII-B restored normal fibrin cross-linking, FXIII-A incorporation into fibrin clots, and activation peptide cleavage by thrombin. Immunoprecipitation with an anti-fibrinogen antibody revealed an interaction between the FXIII heterotetramer and fibrinogen mediated by FXIII-B and not FXIII-A. FXIII-B likely binds the γ-chain of fibrinogen with its D-domain, which is near the fibrin polymerization pockets, and dissociates from fibrin during or after cross-linking between γ-chains. Thus, FXIII-B plays important roles in formation of a ternary complex between proenzyme FXIII, prosubstrate fibrinogen, and activator thrombin. Accordingly, congenital or acquired FXIII-B deficiency may result in increased bleeding tendency through impaired fibrin stabilization due to decreased FXIII-A activation by thrombin and secondary FXIII-A deficiency arising from enhanced circulatory clearance.