In an abnormal fibrinogen (fibrinogen Naples) associated with congenital thrombophilia we have identified a single base substitution (G----A) in the B beta chain gene that results in an amino acid substitution of alanine by threonine at position 68 in the B beta chain of fibrinogen. The propositus and two siblings were found to be homozygous for the mutation, whereas the parents and another sibling were found to be heterozygous. Individuals homozygous for the defect had a severe history of both arterial and venous thrombosis; heterozygous individuals had no clinical symptoms. The three homozygotes had a prolonged thrombin clotting time in plasma, whereas the heterozygotes had a normal thrombin clotting time. Fibrinopeptide A and B (FpA and FpB) release from purified fibrinogen by human alpha-thrombin was delayed in both the homozygous propositus and a heterozygous family member. Release of FpA from the normal and abnormal amino-terminal disulfide knot (NDSK) corresponded to that found with the intact fibrinogens, indicating a decreased interaction of thrombin with the NDSK part of fibrinogen Naples. Binding studies showed that fibrin from homozygous abnormal fibrinogen bound less than 10% of active site inhibited alpha-thrombin as compared with normal fibrin, while fibrin formed from heterozygous abnormal fibrinogen bound approximately 50% of alpha-thrombin. These results suggest that the mutation of B beta Ala 68----Thr affects the binding of alpha-thrombin to fibrin, and that defective binding results in a decreased release of FpA and FpB in both homozygous and heterozygous abnormal fibrinogens.
J Koopman, F Haverkate, S T Lord, J Grimbergen, P M Mannucci