The human Factor VIII procoagulant protein (VIII:C) purified from commercial Factor VIII concentrate consisted of a polypeptide doublet of 80,000 mol wt, a 92,000-mol wt polypeptide, and additional polypeptides of up to 188,000 mol wt. Thrombin digests contained a doublet of 72,000 mol wt, as well as 54,000- and 44,000-mol wt fragments. Proteolysis studies of purified VIII:C using thrombin and activated protein C have suggested that the 92,000- and 80,000 (or 72,000)-mol wt polypeptides comprise activated VIII:C. We have now used seven monoclonal antibodies raised against purified VIII:C to construct a preliminary epitope map of these VIII:C polypeptides. The specific VIII:C polypeptides with which the monoclonal antibodies reacted were determined by immunoblotting of VIII:C onto nitrocellulose sheets after reduced NaDodSO4-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. A minimum of five distinct epitopes were defined by these monoclonal anti-VIII:C antibodies. Identification of polypeptides bearing these epitopes allowed localization of distinct thrombin cleavage sites to the 92,000- and 80,000-mol wt chains, helped define polypeptide chain precursor-product relationships, and suggested that both the 92,000- and 80,000-mol wt polypeptides are necessary for VIII:C function. These data and their interpretation are consistent with the published description of the complete primary structure of VIII:C and its thrombin cleavage products. The 92,000- and 80,000-mol wt chains have been located at the amino- and carboxy-terminal ends of the molecule, respectively.
C A Fulcher, J R Roberts, L Z Holland, T S Zimmerman