Thomas A J McKinnon

Imperial College London, London, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (18)141.21 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: von Willebrand factor (VWF) contains free thiols that mass spectroscopy has located to nine cysteines: two in the D3 domain (Cys889 and Cys898) and seven in the C domains (Cys2448, Cys2451, Cys2453, Cys2490, Cys2491, Cys2528, and Cys2533) (J Biol Chem, 7, 2007, 35604; Blood, 118, 5312). It has been suggested that these free thiols function to regulate the self‐association of VWF through thiol–disulfide exchange (J Biol Chem, 7, 2007, 35604; Blood, 118, 5312). However, recent structural modeling has predicted that these cysteines are, in fact, disulfide‐bonded (Blood, 118, 5312; Blood, 120, 449).
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 01/2014; 12(2). · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: O-linked glycans (OLGs) are clustered on either side of the von Willebrand factor (VWF) A1 domain and modulate its interaction with platelets; however, their influence on the VWF interaction with ADAMTS-13 is unknown. To assess the role of the OLGs in VWF susceptibility to ADAMTS-13 proteolysis, which would help to explain their specific distribution. OLG sites were mutated individually and as clusters on either and both sides of the A1 domain, and expressed in HEK293T cells. First, their proteolysis by ADAMTS-13 was assayed in the presence of urea. Next, a parallel-flow chamber was used to analyze VWF-mediated platelet capture on collagen in the presence and absence of ADAMTS-13 under a shear stress of 1500 s(-1) . The decrease in platelet capture in the presence ADAMTS-13 was used as a measure of VWF proteolysis. Initially, we found that, under denaturing conditions, the C-terminal S1486A and Cluster 2 and double cluster (DC) variants were less susceptible to ADAMTS-13 proteolysis than wild-type VWF. Next, we showed that addition of ADAMTS-13 diminished VWF-mediated platelet capture on collagen under flow; surprisingly, this was more pronounced with the S1486A, Cluster 2 and DC variants than with wild-type VWF, indicating that these are proteolyzed more rapidly under shear flow. OLGs provide rigidity to peptide backbones, and our findings suggest that OLG in the A1-A2 linker region regulates VWF conformational changes under shear. Importantly, the impact of OLGs on ADAMTS-13 cleavage under shear stress is the opposite of that under denaturing conditions, highlighting the non-physiologic nature of in vitro cleavage assays.
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 01/2014; 12(1):54-61. · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is a heterogeneous bleeding disorder caused by decrease or dysfunction of von Willebrand factor (VWF). A wide range of mutations in the VWF gene have been characterised; however their cellular consequences are still poorly understood. Here we have used a recently developed approach to study the molecular and cellular basis of VWD. We isolated blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOEC) from peripheral blood of four type 1 VWD, four type 2 VWD patients and nine healthy controls. We confirmed the endothelial lineage of BOEC, then measured VWF mRNA and protein levels, both before and after stimulation, and VWF multimers. Decreased mRNA levels were predictive of plasma VWF levels in type 1 VWD, confirming a defect in VWF synthesis. However BOEC from this group of patients also showed defects in processing, storage and/or secretion of VWF. Levels of VWF mRNA and protein were normal in BOEC from three type 2 VWD patients, supporting the dysfunctional VWF model. However, one type 2M patient showed decreased VWF synthesis and storage, indicating a complex cellular defect. These results demonstrate for the first time that isolation of endothelial cells from VWD patients provides novel insight into the cellular mechanisms of the disease.
    Blood 01/2013; · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of von Willebrand factor (VWF) as a shear stress activated platelet adhesive has been related to a coiled-elongated shape conformation. The forces dominating this transition have been suggested to be controlled by the proteins polymeric architecture. However, the fact that 20% of VWF molecular weight originates from glycan moieties has so far been neglected in these calculations. In this study, we present a systematic experimental investigation on the role of N-glycosylation for VWF mediated platelet adhesion under flow. A microfluidic flow chamber with a stenotic compartment that allows one to mimic various physiological flow conditions was designed for the efficient analysis of the adhesion spectrum. Surprisingly, we found an increase in platelet adhesion with elevated shear rate, both qualitatively and quantitatively fully conserved when N-deglycosylated VWF (N-deg-VWF) instead of VWF was immobilized in the microfluidic channel. This has been demonstrated consistently over four orders of magnitude in shear rate. In contrast, when N-deg-VWF was added to the supernatant, an increase in adhesion rate by a factor of two was detected compared to the addition of wild-type VWF. It appears that once immobilized, the role of glycans is at least modified if not-as found here for the case of adhesion-negated. These findings strengthen the physical impact of the circulating polymer on shear dependent platelet adhesion events. At present, there is no theoretical explanation for an increase in platelet adhesion to VWF in the absence of its N-glycans. However, our data indicate that the effective solubility of the protein and hence its shape or conformation may be altered by the degree of glycosylation and is therefore a good candidate for modifying the forces required to uncoil this biopolymer. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
    Biomicrofluidics 01/2013; 7(4). · 3.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein S is a cofactor for tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) that, critically, reduces the inhibition constant for FXa to below the plasma concentration of TFPI. TFPI Kunitz domain 3 is required for this enhancement to occur. To delineate the molecular mechanism underlying enhancement of TFPI function, we produced a panel of Kunitz domain 3 variants of TFPI encompassing all 12 surface-exposed charged residues. Thrombin generation assays in TFPI-depleted plasma identified a novel variant, TFPI E226Q, which exhibited minimal enhancement by protein S. This was confirmed in purified FXa inhibition assays where no protein S enhancement of TFPI E226Q was detected. Surface plasmon resonance demonstrated concentration-dependent binding of protein S to WT TFPI, but almost no binding to TFPI E226Q. We conclude that TFPI Kunitz domain 3 residue Glu226 is essential for TFPI enhancement by protein S.
    Blood 10/2012; · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: vWF (von Willebrand factor) is a key component for maintenance of normal haemostasis, acting as the carrier protein of the coagulant Factor VIII and mediating platelet adhesion at sites of vascular injury. There is ample evidence that vWF glycan moieties are crucial determinants of its expression and function. Of particular clinical interest, ABH antigens influence vWF plasma levels according to the blood group of individuals, although the molecular mechanism underlying this phenomenon remains incompletely understood. The present paper reports analyses of the human plasma vWF N-glycan population using advanced MS. Glycomics analyses revealed approximately 100 distinct N-glycan compositions and identified a variety of structural features, including lactosaminic extensions, ABH antigens and sulfated antennae, as well as bisecting and terminal GlcNAc residues. We estimate that some 300 N-glycan structures are carried by human vWF. Glycoproteomics analyses mapped ten of the consensus sites known to carry N-glycans. Glycan populations were found to be distinct, although many structural features were shared across all sites. Notably, the H antigen is not restricted to particular N-glycosylation sites. Also, the Asn2635 site, previously designated as unoccupied, was found to be highly glycosylated. The delineation of such varied glycan populations in conjunction with current models explaining vWF activity will facilitate research aimed at providing a better understanding of the influence of glycosylation on vWF function.
    Biochemical Journal 07/2012; 447(2):217-28. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Type 2M von Willebrand disease (VWD) results from mutations in the A1 domain of von Willebrand factor (VWF) that reduce its platelet-binding function. However, currently employed VWF functional static assays may not distinguish between clinical phenotype. Fifteen individuals from five kindreds with VWF-A1 domain mutations I1416T or I1416N, correlated with mild and moderate clinical phenotypes, respectively, were investigated. The mutations were reproduced by site-directed mutagenesis and expressed in HEK293T cells; functional studies of the recombinant mutants, including GPIbα binding using a flow-based assay, were performed. Plasma from all individuals demonstrated discordant reductions in VWF antigen and platelet-binding function in the presence of high-molecular-weight VWF multimers consistent with VWD type 2M. There was lowered expression and secretion of both mutants compared with wild type (WT) recombinant (r)VWF as well as a significant reduction in GPIbα binding. Binding to collagen was normal and electrophoretic analysis demonstrated a similar multimer distribution between the mutant proteins and wt-rVWF. GPIbα binding under flow was also significantly reduced for I1416N and I1416T rVWF. Impairment of GPIbα binding was more marked for I1416N rVWF than I1416T under both static and flow conditions: this was in spite of similar VWF:Ristocetin cofactor (RCo) activities in patient plasma and is consistent with a respective clinical phenotype. Our findings have established for the first time that I1416N and I1416T are responsible for a type 2M VWD phenotype and demonstrate that quantification of VWF function under shear stress may provide a more accurate measure of clinical severity than the static functional measurements in current diagnostic use.
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 04/2012; 10(7):1409-16. · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have examined the effect of the O-linked glycan (OLG) structures of VWF on its interaction with the platelet receptor glycoprotein Ibα. The 10 OLGs were mutated individually and as clusters (Clus) on either and both sides of the A1 domain: Clus1 (N-terminal side), Clus2 (C-terminal side), and double cluster (DC), in both full-length-VWF and in a VWF construct spanning D' to A3 domains. Mutations did not alter VWF secretion by HEK293T cells, multimeric structure, or static collagen binding. The T1255A, Clus1, and DC variants caused increased ristocetin-mediated GPIbα binding to VWF. Platelet translocation rate on OLG mutants was increased because of reduced numbers of GPIbα binding sites but without effect on bond lifetime. In contrast, OLG mutants mediated increased platelet capture on collagen under high shear stress that was associated with increased adhesion of these variants to the collagen under flow. These findings suggest that removal of OLGs increases the flexibility of the hinge linker region between the D3 and A1 domain, facilitating VWF unfolding by shear stress, thereby enhancing its ability to bind collagen and capture platelets. These data demonstrate an important functional role of VWF OLGs under shear stress conditions.
    Blood 04/2012; 120(1):214-22. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dysregulation of angiogenesis is implicated in many diseases. Von Willebrand factor (VWF), a large plasma glycoprotein essential for normal haemostasis is synthesised by endothelial cells (EC) and megakaryocytes. Raised VWF plasma levels are a risk factor for arterial thrombosis, while deficiency of VWF causes Von Willebrand disease (VWD), the most common congenital bleeding disorder in man. VWD can be associated with angiodysplasia, vascular malformations linked to defective angiogenesis. We hypothesised that VWF is involved in angiogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we isolated mononuclear cells from peripheral blood of controls and patients with VWD and cultured them to obtain confluent monolayers of blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOEC). BOEC from VWD patients showed decreased VWF release, consistent with the patients' clinical data, increased capillary tube formation on Matrigel, migration and proliferation compared to controls. Thus BOEC from VWD patients exhibit enhanced angiogenic properties. Increased angiogenesis was also observed after inhibition of VWF expression in human umbilical vein EC (HUVEC) with specific siRNA. Mechanism studies on VWF siRNA-treated HUVEC implicated the endothelial VWF receptor, integrin α V β3 and the angiogenesis regulator angiopoietin-2. To validate our findings in an in vivo model we studied the VWF-deficient mouse. In vivo Matrigel angiogenesis and imaging of blood vessels in the ear showed increased angiogenesis and vascular network compared to littermate controls. Thus we have identified a novel mechanism for the regulation of angiogenesis and a new function for VWF, which may have clinical implications for VWD and for cardiovascular disease.
    Heart (British Cardiac Society) 10/2011; 97(20):e7. · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The regulation of blood vessel formation is of fundamental importance to many physiological processes, and angiogenesis is a major area for novel therapeutic approaches to diseases from ischemia to cancer. A poorly understood clinical manifestation of pathological angiogenesis is angiodysplasia, vascular malformations that cause severe gastrointestinal bleeding. Angiodysplasia can be associated with von Willebrand disease (VWD), the most common bleeding disorder in man. VWD is caused by a defect or deficiency in von Willebrand factor (VWF), a glycoprotein essential for normal hemostasis that is involved in inflammation. We hypothesized that VWF regulates angiogenesis. Inhibition of VWF expression by short interfering RNA (siRNA) in endothelial cells (ECs) caused increased in vitro angiogenesis and increased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor-2 (VEGFR-2)-dependent proliferation and migration, coupled to decreased integrin αvβ3 levels and increased angiopoietin (Ang)-2 release. ECs expanded from blood-derived endothelial progenitor cells of VWD patients confirmed these results. Finally, 2 different approaches, in situ and in vivo, showed increased vascularization in VWF-deficient mice. We therefore identify a new function of VWF in ECs, which confirms VWF as a protein with multiple vascular roles and defines a novel link between hemostasis and angiogenesis. These results may have important consequences for the management of VWD, with potential therapeutic implications for vascular diseases.
    Blood 11/2010; 117(3):1071-80. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the role that N-linked glycans play in the synthesis and expression of von Willebrand Factor (VWF). Blocking the addition of N-linked glycans (NLGs) or inhibiting initial glycan processing prevented secretion of VWF. To determine whether specific glycosylation sites were important, the 16 VWF N-linked glycosylation sites were mutated followed by expression in HEK293T cells. Four NLG mutants affected VWF expression: N99Q (D1 domain), N857Q (D' domain), N2400Q (B1 domain), and N2790Q (CK domain) either abolished or reduced secretion of VWF and this was confirmed by metabolic labeling. Multimer analysis of mutant N2790Q cell lysate revealed an increase in VWF monomers, which was also observed when the isolated CK domain was expressed with N2790 mutated. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed that mutants N99Q, N857Q, and N2790Q were primarily retained within the ER, producing only few pseudo Weibel-Palade bodies over longer time periods compared with wtVWF. All the variants also showed an increase in free thiol reactivity. This was greatest with N857Q and D4-C2 NLG mutants, which had approximately 6-fold and 3- to 4-fold more free thiol reactivity than wtVWF. These data provide further evidence of the critical role that individual N-linked glycans play in determining VWF synthesis and expression.
    Blood 04/2010; 116(4):640-8. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: von Willebrand factor (VWF) multimeric composition is regulated in plasma by ADAMTS13. VWF deglycosylation enhances proteolysis by ADAMTS13. In this study, the role of terminal sialic acid residues on VWF glycans in mediating proteolysis by ADAMTS13 was investigated. Quantification and distribution of VWF sialylation was examined by sequential digestion and high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. Total sialic acid expression on VWF was 167nmol/mg, of which the majority (80.1%) was present on N-linked glycan chains. Enzymatic desialylation of VWF by alpha2-3,6,8,9 neuraminidase (Neu-VWF) markedly impaired ADAMTS13-mediated VWF proteolysis. Neu-VWF collagen binding activity was reduced to 50% (+/- 14%) by ADAMTS13, compared with 11% (+/- 7%) for untreated VWF. Despite this, Neu-VWF exhibited increased susceptibility to other proteases, including trypsin, chymotrypsin, and cathepsin B. VWF expressing different blood groups exhibit altered ADAMTS13 proteolysis rates (O > or = B > A > or = AB). However, ABO blood group regulation of ADAMTS13 proteolysis was ablated on VWF desialylation, as both Neu-O-VWF and Neu-AB-VWF were cleaved by ADAMTS13 at identical rates. These novel data show that sialic acid protects VWF against proteolysis by serine and cysteine proteases but specifically enhances susceptibility to ADAMTS13 proteolysis. Quantitative variation in VWF sialylation therefore represents a key determinant of VWF multimeric composition and, as such, may be of pathophysiologic significance.
    Blood 11/2009; 115(13):2666-73. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: von Willebrand factor (VWF) is a key component for maintenance of normal hemostasis. Its glycan moieties, accounting for about 20% of its molecular weight, have been shown to affect many of its properties. Previous studies reported correlations between VWF secretion, half-life and the nature or presence of its N-glycans, and more importantly between VWF plasma level and the type of N-linked ABH antigens. Despite the presence of 10 predicted O-glycosylation sites, the O-glycome remains poorly characterized, impairing the complete elucidation of its influence on VWF functions. So far only a single glycan structure, a disialyl core 1 glycan, has been identified. To define an exhaustive profile of the VWF O-glycan structures to help the understanding of their role in VWF regulation and properties. Plasma-derived VWF O-linked sugars were isolated and analyzed using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry methodologies. We provide here a detailed analysis of the human plasma-derived VWF O-glycome. Eighteen O-glycan structures including both core 1 and core 2 structures are now demonstrated to be present on VWF. Amongst the newly determined structures are unusual tetra-sialylated core 1 O-glycans and ABH antigen-containing core 2 O-glycans. In conjunction with current models explaining VWF activity, knowledge of the complete O-glycome will facilitate research aimed at providing a better understanding of the influence of glycosylation on VWF functions.
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 10/2009; 8(1):137-45. · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Investigation of 3 families with bleeding symptoms demonstrated a defect in the collagen-binding activity of von Willebrand factor (VWF) in association with a normal VWF multimeric pattern. Genetic analysis showed affected persons to be heterozygous for mutations in the A3 domain of VWF: S1731T, W1745C, and S1783A. One person showed compound heterozygosity for W1745C and R760H. W1745C and S1783A have not been reported previously. The mutations were reproduced by site-directed mutagenesis and mutant VWF expressed in HEK293T cells. Collagen-binding activity measured by immunosorbent assay varied according to collagen type: W1745C and S1783A were associated with a pronounced binding defect to both type I and type III collagen, whereas the principal abnormality in S1731T patients was a reduction in binding to type I collagen only. The multimer pattern and distribution of mutant proteins were indistinguishable from wild-type recombinant VWF, confirming that the defect in collagen binding resulted from the loss of affinity at the binding site and not impairment of high-molecular-weight multimer formation. Our findings demonstrate that mutations causing an abnormality in the binding of VWF to collagen may contribute to clinically significant bleeding symptoms. We propose that isolated collagen-binding defects are classified as a distinct subtype of von Willebrand disease.
    Blood 09/2009; 114(16):3489-96. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ADAMTS13 metalloprotease regulates the multimeric size of von Willebrand factor (VWF) by cleaving the Tyr1605-Met1606 bond in the VWF A2 domain. The mechanisms of VWF recognition by ADAMTS13 have yet to be fully resolved. Most studies have focused on the role of exosites within the VWF A2 domain, involved in interaction with the ADAMTS13 spacer domain. In the present study, we expressed different C-terminal domain VWF fragments and evaluated their binding to ADAMTS13 and its truncated mutants, MDTCS and del(TSP5-CUB). Using plate binding assay and surface plasmon resonance, we identified a novel ADAMTS13 binding site (K(D) approximately 86 nM) in the region of VWF spanning residues 1874 to 2813, which includes the VWF D4 domain and that interacts with the C-terminal domains of ADAMTS13. We show that the interaction occurs even when VWF is in static conditions, assumed to be globular and where the VWF A2 domain is hidden. We demonstrate that C-terminal VWF fragments, as well as an antibody specifically directed toward the VWF D4 domain, inhibit VWF proteolysis by ADAMTS13 under shear conditions. We propose that this novel VWF C-terminal binding site may participate as the initial step of a multistep interaction ultimately leading to proteolysis of VWF by ADAMTS13.
    Blood 08/2009; 114(13):2819-28. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    M Laffan, T A J McKinnon
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 06/2009; 7(7):1152-4. · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the role of N-linked glycan structures of VWF on its interaction with ADAMTS13. PNGase F digestion followed by lectin analysis demonstrated that more than 90% of VWF N-linked glycan chains could be removed from the molecule (PNG-VWF) without disruption of its multimeric structure or its ability to bind to collagen. PNG-VWF had an approximately 4-fold increased affinity for ADAMTS13 compared with control VWF. PNG-VWF was cleaved by ADAMTS13 faster than control VWF and was also proteolysed in the absence of urea. Occupancy of the N-linked glycan sites at N1515 and N1574 and their presentation of ABO(H) blood group sugars were confirmed with an isolated tryptic fragment. Recombinant VWF was mutated to prevent glycosylation at these sites. Mutation of N1515 did not alter ADAMTS13 binding or increase rate of ADAMTS13 proteolysis. Mutation of N1574 increased the susceptibility of VWF to ADAMTS13 proteolysis and allowed cleavage in the absence of urea. Mutation of N1574 in the isolated recombinant VWF-A2 domain also increased binding and ADAMTS13 proteolysis. These data demonstrate that the N-linked glycans of VWF have a modulatory effect on the interaction with ADAMTS13. At least part of this effect is conformational, but steric hindrance may also be important.
    Blood 04/2008; 111(6):3042-9. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ABO blood group is an important determinant of plasma von Willebrand factor antigen (VWF:Ag) levels, with lower levels in group O. Previous reports have suggested that ABO(H) sugars affect the susceptibility of VWF to ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin type-1 repeats-13) cleavage. To further test this hypothesis, we collected plasma from individuals with the rare Bombay blood group. VWF:Ag levels were significantly lower in Bombay patients (median, 0.69 IU/mL) than in groups AB, A, or B (P < .05) and lower than in group O individuals (median, 0.82 IU/mL). Susceptibility of purified VWF fractions to recombinant ADAMTS13 cleavage, assessed using VWF collagen-binding assay (VWF:CB), was increased in Bombays compared with either group O or AB. Increasing urea concentration (0.5 to 2 M) increased the cleavage rate for each blood group but eliminated the differences between groups. We conclude that reduction in the number of terminal sugars on N-linked glycan increases susceptibility of globular VWF to ADAMTS13 proteolysis and is associated with reduced plasma VWF:Ag and VWF:CB levels.
    Blood 10/2005; 106(6):1988-91. · 9.78 Impact Factor