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Deficient activity of von Willebrand factor-cleaving protease in chronic relapsing thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Authors: Furlan, M  Robles, R  Solenthaler, M  Wassmer, M  Sandoz, P  Lammle, B 
Citation: Furlan M, etal., Blood. 1997 May 1;89(9):3097-103.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:9129011

In patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), excessive intravascular platelet aggregation has been associated with appearance in plasma of unusually large von Willebrand factor (vWF) multimers. These extremely adhesive vWF multimers may arise due to deficiency of a "depolymerase" cleaving vWF to smaller molecular forms, either by reducing the interdimeric disulfide bridges or by proteolytic degradation. We studied the activity of a recently described vWF-cleaving protease in four patients with chronic relapsing TTP. Diluted plasma samples of TTP patients were incubated with purified normal human vWF in the presence of a serine protease inhibitor, at low ionic strength, and in the presence of urea and barium ions. The extent of vWF degradation was assayed by electrophoresis in sodium dodecyl sulfate-agarose gels and immunoblotting. Four patients, that included two brothers, with chronic relapsing TTP displayed either substantially reduced levels or a complete absence of vWF-cleaving protease activity. In none of these patient plasmas was an inhibitor of or an antibody against the vWF-cleaving protease established. Our data suggest that the unusually large vWF multimers found in TTP patients may be caused by deficient vWF-cleaving protease activity. Deficiency of this protease may be inherited in an autosomal recessive manner and seems to predispose to chronic relapsing TTP. The assay of the vWF-cleaving protease activity may be used as a sensitive diagnostic tool for identification of subjects with a latent TTP tendency.


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RGD Object Information
RGD ID: 10449028
Created: 2015-12-14
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2015-12-14
Status: ACTIVE


RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.