Human neutrophil peptides inhibit cleavage of von Willebrand factor by ADAMTS13: A potential link of inflammation to TTP

Academic Article


  • Infection or inflammation may precede and trigger formation of microvascular thrombosis in patients with acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). However, the mechanism underlying this clinical observation is not fully understood. Here, we show that human neutrophil peptides (HNPs) released from activated and degranulated neutrophils inhibit proteolytic cleavage of von Willebrand factor (VWF) by ADAMTS13 in a concentration-dependent manner. Half-maximal inhibitory concentrations of native HNPs toward ADAMTS13-mediated proteolysis of peptidyl VWF73 and multimeric VWF are 3.5 μM and 45 μM, respectively. Inhibitory activity of HNPs depends on the RRY motif that is shared by the spacer domain of ADAMTS13. Native HNPs bind to VWF73 (KD = 0.72 μM), soluble VWF (KD = 0.58 μM), and ultra-large VWF on endothelial cells. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) demonstrates markedly increased plasma HNPs1-3 in most patients with acquired autoimmune TTP at presentation (median, ∼170 ng/mL; range, 58-3570; n = 19) compared with healthy controls (median, ∼23 ng/mL; range, 6-44; = 5 18) (P < .0001). Liquid chromatography plus tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) reveals statistically significant increases of HNP1, HNP2, and HNP3 in patient samples (all P values < .001). There is a good correlation between measurement of HNPs1-3 by ELISA and by LC-MS/MS (Spearman ρ = 0.7932, P < .0001). Together, these results demonstrate that HNPs1-3 may be potent inhibitors of ADAMTS13 activity, likely by binding to the central A2 domain of VWF and physically blocking ADAMTS13 binding. Our findings may provide a novel link between inflammation/infection and the onset of microvascular thrombosis in acquired TTP and potentially other immune thrombotic disorders.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Blood  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Pillai VG; Bao J; Zander CB; McDaniel JK; Chetty PS; Seeholzer SH; Bdeir K; Cines DB; Zheng XL
  • Start Page

  • 110
  • End Page

  • 119
  • Volume

  • 128
  • Issue

  • 1