Full-length von Willebrand factor (vWF) cDNA encodes a highly repetitive protein considerably larger than the mature vWF subunit

EMBO J. 1986 Aug;5(8):1839-47. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1986.tb04435.x.


Full-length human von Willebrand factor (vWF) cDNA was assembled from partial, overlapping vWF cDNAs. This cDNA construct includes a coding sequence of 8439 nucleotides which encode a single-chain precursor of 2813 amino-acid residues, representing a putative signal peptide, a prosequence and mature vWF of 22, 741 and 2050 amino acids, respectively. This represents the longest coding sequence determined to date. In-vitro expression of full-length vWF cDNA revealed the synthesis of a polypeptide with a mol. wt corresponding with that of the unglycosylated precursor. The precursor is a highly repetitive protein which consists of two duplicated (B, C), a triplicated (A), a quadruplicated (D) and a partly duplicated domain (D'), in the following order: H-D1-D2-D'-D3-A1-A2-A3-D4-B1-B2-C1-C2-OH. Both the prosequence, composed of two D domains (D1, D2), and mature vWF harbor an arg-gly-asp ('R-G-D') sequence which has been implicated in cell-attachment functions. It is argued that the pro-sequence is equivalent to von Willebrand Antigen II (vW AgII).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • Endonucleases
  • Humans
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Molecular Weight
  • Plasmids
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Single-Strand Specific DNA and RNA Endonucleases
  • von Willebrand Factor / genetics*


  • Macromolecular Substances
  • RNA, Messenger
  • von Willebrand Factor
  • DNA
  • Endonucleases
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • Single-Strand Specific DNA and RNA Endonucleases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X04146