The activation peptide of coagulation factor XIII is vital for its expression and stability.

Handrková, Helena; Schroeder, Verena; Kohler, H P (2015). The activation peptide of coagulation factor XIII is vital for its expression and stability. Journal of thrombosis and haemostasis, 13(8), pp. 1449-1458. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/jth.13035

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The human activation peptide of factor XIII (AP-FXIII) comprises the first 37 amino acids of the N-terminus and holds the FXIII in an inactive state. FXIII is activated either proteolytically by cleavage of AP-FXIII by thrombin, or non-proteolytically by high calcium concentrations.


To investigate the role of AP-FXIII in the expression and stability of FXIII.


We cloned 13 FXIII variants with progressive truncations of AP-FXIII from the N-terminus (delN-FXIII-A), expressed them in mammalian cells, and measured their thermostability, activation, and transglutaminase activity. We also used in silico calculations to analyze the stability of hypothetical delN-FXIII dimers and to identify crucial motifs within AP-FXIII.


Variants with deletions longer than the first 10 amino acids and an R11Q point mutant were not expressed as proteins. In silico calculations indicated that the sequence (8) FGGR(12) R plays a substantial role in intersubunit interactions in FXIII-A2 homodimers. In agreement with this prediction, the temperature stability of delN-FXIII variants decreased with increasing length of deletion. These results may suggest a role of the N-terminus of AP-FXIII in dimer stability. Substantial sequence homology was found among activation peptides of vertebrate and even invertebrate (crustacean) FXIII-A orthologs, which further supports our conclusion.


We conclude that deletion of 11 or more N-terminal amino acids disrupts intersubunit interactions, which may prevent FXIII-A2 homodimer formation. Therefore, AP-FXIII plays an important role in the stability of the FXIII-A2 dimer.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Forschungsbereich Pavillon 52 > Forschungsgruppe Experimentelle Hämostase
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Haematology and Central Haematological Laboratory

UniBE Contributor:

Handrková, Helena and Schröder, Verena


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Verena Zwahlen

Date Deposited:

02 May 2016 11:49

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:55

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

dimerization, factor XIII, factor XIII activation peptide, plasma transglutaminase, protein stability




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