The tissue factor/factor VIIa/factor Xa complex: a model built by docking and site-directed mutagenesis

Proteins. 2003 Nov 15;53(3):640-8. doi: 10.1002/prot.10445.


Factor X is activated to factor Xa (fXa) in the extrinsic coagulation pathway by the tissue factor (TF)/factor VIIa (fVIIa) complex. Upon activation, the fXa molecule remains associated with the TF/fVIIa complex, and this ternary complex is known to activate protease-activated receptors (PARs) 1 and 2. Activation of fVII in the TF complex by fXa is also seen at physiologic concentrations. The ternary complexes TF/fVII/fXa, TF/fVIIa/fX, and TF/fVIIa/fXa are therefore all physiologically relevant and of interest as targets for inhibition of both coagulation and cell-signaling pathways that are important in cardiovascular disease and inflammation. We therefore present a model of the TF/fVIIa/fXa complex, built with the use of the available structures of the TF/fVIIa complex and fXa by protein-protein docking calculations with the program Surfdock. The fXa model has an extended conformation, similar to that of fVIIa in the TF/fVIIa complex, with extensive interactions with TF and the protease domain of fVIIa. All four domains of fXa are involved in the interaction. The gamma-carboxyglutamate (Gla) and epithelial growth factor (EGF1 and EGF2) domains of fVIIa are not significantly involved in the interaction. Docking of the Gla domain of fXa to TF/fVIIa has been reported previously. The docking results identify potential interface residues, allowing rational selection of target residues for site-directed mutagenesis. This combination of docking and mutagenesis confirms that residues Glu51 and Asn57 in the EGF1 domain, Asp92 and Asp95 in the EGF2 domain, and Asp 185a, Lys 186, and Lys134 in the protease domain of factor Xa are involved in the interaction with TF/fVIIa. Other fX protease domain residues predicted to be involved in the interaction come from the 160s loop and the N-terminus of the fX protease domain, which is oriented in such a way that activation of both fVII by fXa, and the reciprocal fX activation by fVIIa, is possible.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / chemistry
  • Factor VIIa / chemistry*
  • Factor VIIa / metabolism
  • Factor Xa / chemistry*
  • Factor Xa / genetics
  • Factor Xa / metabolism
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Thromboplastin / chemistry*
  • Thromboplastin / metabolism


  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Thromboplastin
  • Factor VIIa
  • Factor Xa