Distinct specificity and single-molecule kinetics characterize the interaction of pathogenic and non-pathogenic antibodies against platelet factor 4-heparin complexes with platelet factor 4.

Journal Article

Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a thrombotic complication of heparin therapy mediated by antibodies to complexes between platelet factor 4 (PF4) and heparin or cellular glycosaminoglycans. However, only a fraction of patients with anti-PF4-heparin antibodies develop HIT, implying that only a subset of these antibodies is pathogenic. The basis for the pathogenic potential of anti-PF4-heparin antibodies remains unclear. To elucidate the intrinsic PF4-binding properties of HIT-like monoclonal antibody (KKO) versus non-pathogenic antibody (RTO) at the single-molecule level, we utilized optical trap-based force spectroscopy to measure the strength and probability of binding of surface-attached antibodies with oligomeric PF4 to simulate interactions on cells. To mimic the effect of heparin in bringing PF4 complexes into proximity, we chemically cross-linked PF4 tetramers using glutaraldehyde. Analysis of the force histograms revealed that KKO-PF4 interactions had ∼10-fold faster on-rates than RTO-PF4, and apparent equilibrium dissociation constants differed ∼10-fold with similar force-free off-rates (k(off) = 0.0031 and 0.0029 s(-1)). Qualitatively similar results were obtained for KKO and RTO interacting with PF4-heparin complexes. In contrast to WT PF4, KKO and RTO showed lower and similar binding probabilities to cross-linked PF4(K50E), which forms few if any oligomers. Thus, formation of stable PF4 polymers results in much stronger interactions with the pathogenic antibody without a significant effect on the binding of the non-pathogenic antibody. These results suggest a fundamental difference in the antigen-binding mechanisms between model pathogenic and non-pathogenic anti-PF4 antibodies that might underlie their distinct pathophysiological behaviors.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Litvinov, RI; Yarovoi, SV; Rauova, L; Barsegov, V; Sachais, BS; Rux, AH; Hinds, JL; Arepally, GM; Cines, DB; Weisel, JW

Published Date

  • November 15, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 288 / 46

Start / End Page

  • 33060 - 33070

PubMed ID

  • 24097975

Pubmed Central ID

  • 24097975

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1083-351X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1074/jbc.M113.481598


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States