Krystin Krauel

University of Greifswald, Griefswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

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Publications (14)103.66 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The chemokine platelet factor 4 (PF4) undergoes conformational changes when complexing with polyanions. This can induce the antibody-mediated adverse drug effect heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). Understanding why the endogenous protein PF4 becomes immunogenic when complexing with heparin is important for the development of other negatively charged drugs and may also hint towards more general mechanisms underlying the induction of autoantibodies to other proteins. By circular dichroism spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and isothermal titration calorimetry we characterized the interaction of PF4 with unfractionated heparin (UFH), its 16-, 8-, and 6-mer subfractions, low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), and the pentasaccharide fondaparinux. To bind anti-PF4/heparin antibodies, PF4/heparin complexes require: 1) an increase in PF4 anti-parallel β-sheets exceeding ~30% (achieved by UFH, LMWH, 16-, 8-, 6-mer), 2) formation of multimolecular complexes (UFH, 16-, 8-mer), and 3) energy (needed for a conformational change) which is released by binding of ≥11-mer heparins to PF4, but not by smaller heparins. These findings may help to synthesize safer heparins. Beyond PF4 and HIT, the methods applied in the current study may be relevant to unravel mechanisms making other endogenous proteins more vulnerable, to undergo conformational changes with little energy requirement (e.g. point mutations; post-translational modifications) and thereby prone them to become immunogenic.
    Blood 08/2014; · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The key feature of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is the production of antibodies (Ab) against the platelet factor 4 (PF4)/heparin complex. These Ab are directed against neoepitopes of the PF4 tetramer, which are induced by the complex formation with heparin. To study this humoral immune response in greater detail, either in a murine immunization model or in human blood samples, reliable and specific immune assays to detect specifically Ab against the PF4/heparin complexes, but not PF4 alone are required. We established fluid-phase enzyme-immunoassays in which the soluble biotinylated antigen, PF4/heparin, is firstly captured by specific Ab, and secondly directly detected with enzyme-conjugated streptavidin. The use of this fluid-phase principle allowed a higher specificity than the traditional solid-phase enzyme-immunoassays in terms of Ab binding to murine PF4/heparin compared to murine PF4 alone. This fluid-phase approach applied to the detection of specific murine PF4/heparin Ab-secreting cells (ASC) identified the spleen as the main lymphatic organ that contributes to the PF4/heparin Ab response in mice. IgG ASC specific for PF4/heparin are very transiently detectable in mice, which might explain why anti-PF4/heparin IgG Ab typically disappear within 100days in humans. Furthermore, this fluid-phase approach was successfully transferred to detect human PF4/heparin-specific Ab. The fluid-phase principle for the specific detection of anti-PF4/heparin IgG and IgM Ab enables new and improved assays for HIT research in men and mice. At least in mice PF4/heparin antibodies are produced by transient B cells.
    Thrombosis Research 04/2014; · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is the most frequent drug-induced immune reaction affecting blood cells. Its antigen is formed when the chemokine platelet factor 4 (PF4) complexes with polyanions. By assessing polyanions of varying length and degree of sulfation using immunoassay and circular dichroism (CD)-spectroscopy, we show that PF4 structural changes resulting in antiparallel β-sheet content >30% make PF4/polyanion complexes antigenic. Further, we found that polyphosphates (polyP-55) induce antigenic changes on PF4, whereas fondaparinux does not. We provide a model suggesting that conformational changes exposing antigens on PF4/polyanion complexes occur in the hairpin involving AA 32-38, which form together with C-terminal AA (66-70) of the adjacent PF4 monomer a continuous patch on the PF4 tetramer surface, explaining why only tetrameric PF4 molecules express "HIT antigens". The correlation of antibody binding in immunoassays with PF4 structural changes provides the intriguing possibility that CD-spectroscopy could become the first antibody-independent, in vitro method to predict potential immunogenicity of drugs. CD-spectroscopy could identify compounds during preclinical drug development that induce PF4 structural changes correlated with antigenicity. The clinical relevance can then be specifically addressed during clinical trials. Whether these findings can be transferred to other endogenous proteins requires further studies.
    Thrombosis and Haemostasis 03/2014; 112(1). · 5.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial adhesion to platelets is mediated via a range of strain-specific bacterial surface proteins that bind to a variety of platelet receptors. It is unclear how these interactions lead to platelet activation. We demonstrate a critical role for the immune receptor FcγRIIA, αIIbβ3, and Src and Syk tyrosine kinases in platelet activation by Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus sanguinis, Streptococcus gordonii, Streptococcus oralis and Streptococcus pneumoniae. FcγRIIA activation is dependent on IgG and αIIbβ3 engagement. Moreover, feedback agonists ADP and thromboxane A2 are mandatory for platelet aggregation. Additionally, PF4 binds to bacteria and reduces the lag time for aggregation, and Grey Platelet Syndrome α-granule deficient platelets do not aggregate to 4 of 5 bacterial strains. We propose that FcγRIIA-mediated activation is a common response mechanism employed against a wide range of bacteria, and that release of secondary mediators and PF4 serve as a positive feedback mechanism for activation through an IgG-dependent pathway.
    Blood 03/2014; · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a strategy to generate by electron beam lithography high fidelity micropatterned arrays to assess the interaction of single platelets with immobilized ligands. As a proof-of-principle we functionalised the microarrays with platelet factor 4 (PF4)-heparin-IgG complexes. We embedded biotinylated water-soluble quantum dots into polyethylene glycol (PEG)-coated micropatterned arrays and functionalised them via streptavidin to bind biotinylated ligands, here biotinylated-PF4/heparin complexes. The integrity of the PF4/heparin-complexes was shown by binding of anti-PF4/heparin antibodies. Ligand density was quantified by immunofluorescence and immunogold antibody labelling. Real-time calcium imaging was employed for read-out of single platelets activated on micropatterned surfaces functionalised with PF4/heparin-IgG complexes. With the smallest micropatterns (0.5x0.5 µm) we show that single platelets become strongly activated by binding to surface-immobilised PF4/heparin-IgG, while on larger micropatterns (10x10 µm), platelet aggregates formed. These findings that HIT antibodies can cause platelet activation on microarrays illustrate how this novel method opens new avenues to study platelet function at single cell level. Generating functionalized microarray surfaces to which highly complex ligands can be bound and quantified has the potential for platelet and other cell function assays integrated into high-throughput microfluidic microdevices.
    Thrombosis and Haemostasis 01/2014; 111(5). · 5.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction The key feature of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is the production of antibodies (Ab) against the platelet factor 4 (PF4)/heparin complex. These Ab are directed against neoepitopes of the PF4 tetramer, which are induced by the complex formation with heparin. To study this humoral immune response in greater detail, either in a murine immunization model or in human blood samples, reliable and specific immune assays to detect specifically Ab against the PF4/heparin complexes, but not PF4 alone are required. Materials and Methods We established fluid-phase enzyme-immunoassays in which the soluble biotinylated antigen, PF4/heparin, is firstly captured by specific Ab, and secondly directly detected with enzyme-conjugated streptavidin. Results The use of this fluid-phase principle allowed a higher specificity than the traditional solid-phase enzyme-immunoassays in terms of Ab binding to murine PF4/heparin compared to murine PF4 alone. This fluid-phase approach applied to the detection of specific murine PF4/heparin Ab-secreting cells (ASC) identified the spleen as the main lymphatic organ that contributes to the PF4/heparin Ab response in mice. IgG ASC specific for PF4/heparin are very transiently detectable in mice, which might explain why anti-PF4/heparin IgG Ab typically disappear within 100 days in humans. Furthermore, this fluid-phase approach was successfully transferred to detect human PF4/heparin-specific Ab. Conclusion The fluid-phase principle for the specific detection of anti-PF4/heparin IgG and IgM Ab enables new and improved assays for HIT research in men and mice. At least in mice PF4/heparin antibodies are produced by transient B cells.
    Thrombosis Research 01/2014; 134(1):174–181. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The tight electrostatic binding of the chemokine platelet factor 4 (PF4) to polyanions induces heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), a prothrombotic adverse drug reaction caused by immunoglobulin G directed against PF4/polyanion complexes. This study demonstrates that nucleic acids, including aptamers, also bind to PF4 and enhance PF4 binding to platelets. Systematic assessment of RNA and DNA constructs, as well as four aptamers of different lengths and secondary structures, revealed that increasing length and double-stranded segments of nucleic acids augment complex formation with PF4, while single nucleotides or single-stranded poly A or poly C constructs do not. Aptamers were shown by circular dichroism spectroscopy to induce structural changes in PF4 that resemble those induced by heparin. Moreover, heparin-induced anti-human-PF4/heparin antibodies cross-reacted with human PF4/nucleic acid- and PF4/aptamer complexes, as shown by an enzyme-immunoassay and a functional platelet activation assay. Finally, administration of PF4/44mer-DNA Protein C-aptamer complexes in mice induced anti-PF4/aptamer antibodies, which cross-reacted with murine PF4/heparin complexes. These data indicate that the formation of anti-PF4/heparin antibodies in postoperative patients may be augmented by PF4/nucleic acid complexes. Moreover, administration of therapeutic aptamers has the potential to induce anti-PF4/polyanion antibodies and a prothrombotic diathesis.
    Blood 05/2013; · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The positively charged chemokine platelet factor 4 (PF4) forms immunogenic complexes with heparin and other polyanions. Resulting antibodies can induce the adverse drug effect heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. PF4 also binds to bacteria, thereby exposing the same neoantigen(s) as with heparin. In this study, we identified the negatively charged lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as the PF4 binding structure on Gram-negative bacteria. We demonstrate by flow cytometry that mutant bacteria with progressively truncated LPS structures show increasingly enhanced PF4 binding activity. PF4 bound strongest to mutants lacking the O-antigen and core structure of LPS, but still exposing lipid A on their surfaces. Strikingly, PF4 bound more efficiently to bisphosphorylated lipid A than to monophosphorylated lipid A, suggesting that phosphate residues of lipid A mediate PF4 binding. Interactions of PF4 with Gram-negative bacteria, where only the lipid A part of LPS is exposed, induce epitopes on PF4 resembling those on PF4/heparin complexes as shown by binding of human anti-PF4/heparin antibodies. As both the lipid A on the surface of Gram-negative bacteria and the amino acids of PF4 contributing to polyanion binding are highly conserved, our results further support the hypothesis that neoepitope formation on PF4 after binding to bacteria is an ancient host defense mechanism.
    Blood 08/2012; 120(16):3345-52. · 9.78 Impact Factor
  • Andreas Greinacher, Krystin Krauel, Inga Jensch
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    ABSTRACT: Antiplatelet factor 4 (PF4) antibodies have an important role in the most frequent drug-induced immune disorder, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). In this issue of Blood, Sachais and coworkers propose a new feature that may explain why only some anti-PF4 antibodies are pathogenic.(1) In addition to epitope specificity-determining affinity and a high titer, the ability of antibodies to promote formation of their own target antigens seems to be a key factor for pathogenicity.
    Blood 08/2012; 120(5):930-1. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Heparin is a widely used anticoagulant. Because of its negative charge, it forms complexes with positively charged platelet factor 4 (PF4). This can induce anti-PF4/heparin IgG Abs. Resulting immune complexes activate platelets, leading to the prothrombotic adverse drug reaction heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). HIT requires treatment with alternative anticoagulants. Approved for HIT are 2 direct thrombin inhibitors (DTI; lepirudin, argatroban) and danaparoid. They are niche products with limitations. We assessed the effects of the DTI dabigatran, the direct factor Xa-inhibitor rivaroxaban, and of 2-O, 3-O desulfated heparin (ODSH; a partially desulfated heparin with minimal anticoagulant effects) on PF4/heparin complexes and the interaction of anti-PF4/heparin Abs with platelets. Neither dabigatran nor rivaroxaban had any effect on the interaction of PF4 or anti-PF4/heparin Abs with platelets. In contrast, ODSH inhibited PF4 binding to gel-filtered platelets, displaced PF4 from a PF4-transfected cell line, displaced PF4/heparin complexes from platelet surfaces, and inhibited anti-PF4/heparin Ab binding to PF4/heparin complexes and subsequent platelet activation. Dabigatran and rivaroxaban seem to be options for alternative anticoagulation in patients with a history of HIT. ODSH prevents formation of immunogenic PF4/heparin complexes, and, when given together with heparin, may have the potential to reduce the risk for HIT during treatment with heparin.
    Blood 11/2011; 119(5):1248-55. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Platelet factor 4 (PF4) and heparin (H) form PF4/H complexes, the target of the immune reaction in heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). HIT seems to be a secondary immune response as anti-PF4/H-IgG antibodies occur as early as day 4 of heparin treatment. This study investigated whether prevalent infections such as periodontitis may induce the PF4/H immune response as: (1) natural anti-PF4/H Abs are present in the normal population; (2) PF4 bound to bacteria exposes the same antigen(s) as PF4/H complexes; and (3) sepsis induces PF4/H Abs in mice. We found PF4 bound to periodontal pathogens (Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans; Porphyromonas gingivalis) enabling subsequent binding of human anti-PF4/H Abs. The association of natural PF4/H Abs and periodontitis was assessed in a case-control study, enrolling individuals with natural anti-PF4/H Abs (n = 40 matched pairs), and in the cross-sectional population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP; n = 3500). Both studies showed a robust association between periodontitis and presence of anti-PF4/H Abs independent of inflammation markers (case-control study: lowest vs highest tertile, odds ratio, 7.12 [95% confidence interval, 1.73-46.13; P = .005]; SHIP study, p(trend) ≤ 0.001). Thus, preimmunization to PF4/bacteria complexes by prevalent infections, for example, periodontitis, likely explains the presence of natural anti-PF4/heparin Abs and the early occurrence of anti-PF4/H-IgG in HIT.
    Blood 06/2011; 118(5):1395-401. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A clinically important adverse drug reaction, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), is induced by antibodies specific for complexes of the chemokine platelet factor 4 (PF4) and the polyanion heparin. Even heparin-naive patients can generate anti-PF4/heparin IgG as early as day 4 of heparin treatment, suggesting preimmunization by antigens mimicking PF4/heparin complexes. These antibodies probably result from bacterial infections, as (1) PF4 bound charge-dependently to various bacteria, (2) human heparin-induced anti-PF4/heparin antibodies cross-reacted with PF4-coated Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, and (3) mice developed anti-PF4/heparin antibodies during polymicrobial sepsis without heparin application. Thus, after binding to bacteria, the endogenous protein PF4 induces antibodies with specificity for PF4/polyanion complexes. These can target a large variety of PF4-coated bacteria and enhance bacterial phagocytosis in vitro. The same antigenic epitopes are expressed when pharmacologic heparin binds to platelets augmenting formation of PF4 complexes. Boosting of preformed B cells by PF4/heparin complexes could explain the early occurrence of IgG antibodies in HIT. We also found a continuous, rather than dichotomous, distribution of anti-PF4/heparin IgM and IgG serum concentrations in a cross-sectional population study (n = 4029), indicating frequent preimmunization to modified PF4. PF4 may have a role in bacterial defense, and HIT is probably a misdirected antibacterial host defense mechanism.
    Blood 10/2010; 117(4):1370-8. · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), typically occurring in the second week of heparin therapy, is an antibody-mediated adverse drug reaction associated with increased thrombotic risk. The most important antigens are located on platelet factor 4 (PF4)/heparin complexes. HIT is always caused by platelet-activating antibodies, but not all PF4/heparin-reactive antibodies cause HIT. Thus, tests have a high negative, but only a moderate, positive predictive value. Clinical suspicion of HIT requires cessation of heparin and substitution with an alternative anticoagulant. As these drugs have an increased bleeding risk, they should be used in therapeutic doses only if HIT is considered very likely. Avoiding/postponing coumarin is crucial in minimizing microthrombotic complications. Recent studies of HIT immunobiology suggest that HIT mimics immunity against repetitive antigens, as are relevant in microbial defense. Thus, understanding HIT may help unravel why host defenses can trigger autoimmunity.
    Hamostaseologie 02/2010; 30(1):17-8, 20-8. · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), a disorder in which anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4)-heparin antibodies cause platelet activation and hypercoagulability, requires alternative (non-heparin) anticoagulation. Treatment options include direct thrombin inhibitors [lepirudin and argatroban (approved), and bivalirudin], danaparoid (approved) (mixture of anticoagulant glycosaminoglycans), or fondaparinux (synthetic heparin-mimicking pentasaccharide). PF4-heparin complexes form at optimal stoichiometric ratios. To compare the effects of these various non-heparin anticoagulants in disrupting the formation of PF4-heparin complexes, and PF4-containing immune complexes. Sera were obtained from patients with serologically confirmed HIT. The effects of the alternative anticoagulants on PF4 and PF4-heparin complex interactions with platelets, as well as HIT antibody binding and platelet activation, were investigated. Danaparoid at very low concentrations increased PF4 binding to platelets. In therapeutic concentrations, however, it decreased PF4 binding to platelets (P = 0.0004), displaced PF4-heparin complexes from platelets (P = 0.0033) and PF4 from the surface of a PF4-transfected HEK-293 EBNA cell line expressing the PF4 receptor CXCR3-B (P = 0.0408), reduced PF4-heparin complex size (P = 0.025), inhibited HIT antibody binding to PF4-heparin complexes (P = 0.001), and prevented platelet activation by HIT antibodies (P = 0.046). Although fondaparinux also interfered with PF4 binding to platelets, HIT antibody binding to PF4-heparin complexes, and activation of platelets by HIT antibodies, these effects occurred only at supratherapeutic concentrations. The direct thrombin inhibitors had no effect at any concentrations. Danaparoid uniquely interferes with the pathogenesis of HIT by disrupting PF4-containing immune complexes at therapeutic dose concentrations. It is possible that these effects contribute to its therapeutic efficacy.
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 11/2008; 6(12):2160-7. · 6.08 Impact Factor