Cleavage of factor XIII by human neutrophil elastase results in a novel active truncated form of factor XIII A subunit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


The first step in the activation of plasma factor XIII (FXIII) is the cleavage of R37-G38 bond in FXIIIA subunit (FXIII-A) by thrombin, which makes the subsequent formation of an active transglutaminase possible. No active truncated form of FXIII-A, other than G38-FXIII-A, has been identified. In contrast to thrombin, which has a preference toward arginine residues,human neutrophil elastase (HNE) cleaves peptide bonds at small side-chain aliphatic amino acids, preferably at valine. As there are several valine residues close to the thrombin cleavage-site, we tested if an active truncated FXIII-A was formed during fragmentation of FXIII by HNE. It was demonstrated by Western blotting and transglutaminase assay that HNE induced a limited cleavage of FXIII-A resulting in the activation of both plasma and cellular FXIII; the maximal transglutaminase activities were 52.5% and 67.4% of thrombin-activated FXIII, respectively. After the relatively rapid activation a much slower inactivation occurred. HNE-activated FXIII cross-linked fibrin γ- and α-chains in the clot formed by batroxobin moojeni. MALDI-TOF analysis of the cleaved fragments and N-terminal Edman degradation of the truncated protein identified V39-N40 as the primary cleavagesite and N40-FXIII-A as the active form. No primary cleavage occurred at V34, V35, V47, V50 residues. FXIII-A V34L polymorphism, which increases the rate of FXIII-A cleavage by thrombin, was without effect on FXIII activation by HNE. Molecular modeling located the primary HNE cleavage-site in the middle of the flexible and accessible Q32-L45 loop and showed that other neighboring valine residues were in less favorable position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-674
Number of pages7
JournalThrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2008


  • Elastase
  • Factor XIII
  • Factor XIII-A V34L polymorphism
  • Transglutaminase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cleavage of factor XIII by human neutrophil elastase results in a novel active truncated form of factor XIII A subunit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this