Crystal structure of VWF A2 domain
[VWF_HUMAN] Defects in VWF are the cause of von Willebrand disease type 1 (VWD1) [MIM:193400]. A common hemorrhagic disorder due to defects in von Willebrand factor protein and resulting in impaired platelet aggregation. Von Willebrand disease type 1 is characterized by partial quantitative deficiency of circulating von Willebrand factor, that is otherwise structurally and functionally normal. Clinical manifestations are mucocutaneous bleeding, such as epistaxis and menorrhagia, and prolonged bleeding after surgery or trauma.  Defects in VWF are the cause of von Willebrand disease type 2 (VWD2) [MIM:613554]. A hemorrhagic disorder due to defects in von Willebrand factor protein and resulting in impaired platelet aggregation. Von Willebrand disease type 2 is characterized by qualitative deficiency and functional anomalies of von Willebrand factor. It is divided in different subtypes including 2A, 2B, 2M and 2N (Normandy variant). The mutant VWF protein in types 2A, 2B and 2M are defective in their platelet-dependent function, whereas the mutant protein in type 2N is defective in its ability to bind factor VIII. Clinical manifestations are mucocutaneous bleeding, such as epistaxis and menorrhagia, and prolonged bleeding after surgery or trauma. Defects in VWF are the cause of von Willebrand disease type 3 (VWD3) [MIM:277480]. A severe hemorrhagic disorder due to a total or near total absence of von Willebrand factor in the plasma and cellular compartments, also leading to a profound deficiency of plasmatic factor VIII. Bleeding usually starts in infancy and can include epistaxis, recurrent mucocutaneous bleeding, excessive bleeding after minor trauma, and hemarthroses.
[VWF_HUMAN] Important in the maintenance of hemostasis, it promotes adhesion of platelets to the sites of vascular injury by forming a molecular bridge between sub-endothelial collagen matrix and platelet-surface receptor complex GPIb-IX-V. Also acts as a chaperone for coagulation factor VIII, delivering it to the site of injury, stabilizing its heterodimeric structure and protecting it from premature clearance from plasma.
Publication Abstract from PubMed
The lengths of von Willebrand factor (VWF) concatamers correlate with hemostatic potency. After secretion in plasma, length is regulated by hydrodynamic shear force-dependent unfolding of the A2 domain, which is then cleaved by a specific protease. The 1.9-A crystal structure of the A2 domain demonstrates evolutionary adaptations to this shear sensor function. Unique among VWF A (VWA) domains, A2 contains a loop in place of the alpha4 helix, and a cis-proline. The central beta4-strand is poorly packed, with multiple side-chain rotamers. The Tyr-Met cleavage site is buried in the beta4-strand in the central hydrophobic core, and the Tyr structurally links to the C-terminal alpha6-helix. The alpha6-helix ends in 2 Cys residues that are linked by an unusual vicinal disulfide bond that is buried in a hydrophobic pocket. These features may narrow the force range over which unfolding occurs and may also slow refolding. Von Willebrand disease mutations, which presumably lower the force at which A2 unfolds, are illuminated by the structure.
Structural specializations of A2, a force-sensing domain in the ultralarge vascular protein von Willebrand factor.,Zhang Q, Zhou YF, Zhang CZ, Zhang X, Lu C, Springer TA Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 9;106(23):9226-31. Epub 2009 May 21. PMID:19470641
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.