The two plasma inhibitors, protein Z-dependent protease inhibitor (ZPI) and tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), effectively inhibit the activity of activated factor X (FXa); however, neither inhibitor exhibits any reactivity with the homologous protease activated factor IX (FIXa). In this study, we investigated the molecular basis for the lack of reactivity of FIXa with these plasma inhibitors and discovered that unique structural features within residues of the 39-loop are responsible for restricting the inhibitor specificity of FIXa. This loop in FXa is highly acidic and contains three Glu residues at positions 36, 37, and 39. On the other hand, the loop is shorter by one residue in FIXa (residue 37 is missing), and it contains a Lys and an Asp at positions 36 and 39, respectively. We discovered that replacing residues of the 39-loop (residues 31-41) of FIXa with corresponding residues of FXa renders the FIXa chimera susceptible to inactivation by both ZPI and TFPI. Thus, the inactivation rate of the FIXa chimera by ZPI in the presence of protein Z (PZ), negatively charged membrane vesicles, and calcium ions approached the same diffusion-limited rate (>10(7) m(-1) s(-1)) that has been observed for the PZ-dependent inhibition of FXa by ZPI. Interestingly, sequence alignments indicated that, similar to FXa, residue 36 is a Glu in both mouse and bovine FIXa and that both proteases are also susceptible to inhibition by the PZ-ZPI complex. These results suggest that structural features within residues of the 39-loop contribute to the resistance of FIXa to inhibition by plasma inhibitors ZPI and TFPI.
Keywords: Coagulation Factors; Enzyme Inactivation; Mutagenesis; Protein Z; Protein Z-dependent Protease Inhibitor; Serine Protease; Serpin.