Endocrinology Journal Article

Thrombin Generates Vasoinhibin

December 14, 2021
 

Magdalena Zamora, Juan Pablo Robles, Manuel B Aguilar, Sergio de Jesús Romero-Gómez, Thomas Bertsch, Gonzalo Martínez de la Escalera, Jakob Triebel, Carmen Clapp
Endocrinology, Volume 162, Issue 12, December 2021, bqab177
https://doi.org/10.1210/endocr/bqab177

Abstract

Vasoinhibin is an endogenous prolactin (PRL) fragment with profibrinolytic, antivasopermeability, and antiangiogenic effects. The fact that blood clotting, vascular permeability, and angiogenesis are functionally linked during the wound-healing process led us to investigate whether thrombin, a major protease in tissue repair, generates vasoinhibin. Here, we have incubated human PRL with thrombin and analyzed the resulting proteolytic products by Western blot, mass spectrometry, high-performance liquid chromatography purification, recombinant production, and bioactivity. We unveil a main thrombin cleavage site at R48-G49 that rapidly (< 10 minutes) generates a 5.6-kDa fragment (residues 1-48) with full vasoinhibin activity, that is, it inhibited the proliferation, invasion, and permeability of cultured endothelial cells and promoted the lysis of a fibrin clot in plasma with a similar potency to that of a conventional 14-kDa vasoinhibin (residues 1-123). The R48-G49 cleavage site is highly conserved throughout evolution and precedes the intramolecular disulfide bond (C58-C174), thereby allowing the 5.6-kDa vasoinhibin to be released without a reduction step. Furthermore, the 5.6-kDa vasoinhibin is produced by endogenous thrombin during the clotting process. These findings uncover the smallest vasoinhibin known, add thrombin to the list of PRL-cleaving proteases generating vasoinhibin, and introduce vasoinhibin as a thrombin-activated mechanism for the regulation of hemostasis, vasopermeability, and angiogenesis in response to tissue injury.

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