Purification and characterization of hereditary abnormal antithrombin III with impaired thrombin binding

J Lab Clin Med. 1984 Aug;104(2):245-56.


Investigations of a family predisposed to recurrent venous thromboses disclosed a hereditary antithrombin III deficiency. The reactive antithrombin III concentration in plasma was reduced approximately 50%, and the antigen concentration of the inhibitor was normal. Antithrombin III from two members of this family was purified by dextran sulfate precipitation, affinity chromatography on heparin-Sepharose, and ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE-Sephadex A-50. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and crossed immunoelectrophoresis showed that only approximately half of the purified antithrombin III was capable of forming a complex with thrombin. This corroborated the finding that approximately twice as much purified antithrombin III from these patients compared with antithrombin III from normal humans was needed for titration of a given amount of thrombin. The nonreactive as well as the reactive population of antithrombin III bound heparin with the same affinity as normal antithrombin III. This was shown by crossed immunoelectrophoresis using heparin in the first dimension, by the elution pattern during salt gradient elution of antithrombin III from heparin-Sepharose, and by heparin enhancement of intrinsic fluorescence. Kinetic studies in the absence and in the presence of heparin indicated that the fraction of antithrombin III that could inactivate thrombin was functionally normal. The affected family members appeared to be heterozygotes with two autosomal codominant alleles that encode a normal and an abnormal antithrombin III protein, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antithrombin III / genetics*
  • Antithrombin III / isolation & purification
  • Antithrombin III / metabolism
  • Binding Sites
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Female
  • Heparin / metabolism
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Immunoelectrophoresis, Two-Dimensional
  • Isoelectric Focusing
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Protein Binding
  • Thrombin / metabolism*
  • Thromboembolism / blood
  • Thromboembolism / genetics*


  • Antithrombin III
  • Heparin
  • Thrombin