β-thromboglobulins are derived from the cleavage of the CXC chemokine platelet basic protein and are released in high concentrations by activated platelets. Platelet-derived β-thromboglobulins (βTG) share 70% homology with platelet factor 4 (PF4), another CXC chemokine released by activated platelets. PF4 modulates coagulation by inhibiting heparin-antithrombin interactions, promoting protein C activation, and attenuating the activity of activated protein C. In contrast, the effect of βTG on coagulation is unknown. Clotting times, thrombin generation, chromogenic clotting factor assays, and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) were used to assess the effect of purified βTG on coagulation. In normal pooled plasma, βTG shortened the lagtime and time to peak thrombin generation of tissue factor (TF)-dependent and TF-independent thrombin generation. In factor VIII and factor IX-deficient plasmas, βTG induced thrombin generation in the absence of a TF stimulus and in the presence of anti-TF and factor VIIa inhibitory antibodies. The procoagulant effect was not observed when thrombin generation was independent of factor X activation (supplementation of factor X-deficient plasma with factor Xa). Cleavage of a factor Xa-specific chromogenic substrate was observed when βTG was incubated with factor X, suggesting a direct interaction between βTG and factor X. Using SPR, βTG were found to bind to immobilised factor X in a dose dependent manner. βTG modulate coagulation in vitro via an interaction with factor X.
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