An A alpha-arginine-141 to serine substitution has been identified in a homozygous dysfibrinogen, fibrinogen Lima, associated with impaired fibrin polymerization. The point mutation created an asparagine-X-serine-type glycosylation sequence, and indeed, extra, mainly disialylated biantennary oligosaccharides have been isolated from A alpha asparagine-139 of the patient's fibrinogen. This type of glycosylation sequence is unique for human fibrinogen, because the sequences shown for normal and abnormal fibrinogens are all asparagine-X-threonine types. The terminal sialic acids of the extra oligosaccharides seem to have largely contributed to the impaired fibrin gel formation, as evidenced by its correction to a near normal level by desialylation. Nevertheless, the polymerizing fibrin facilitated tissue-type plasminogen activator-catalyzed plasmin formation in a normal fashion, indicating that the initial two-stranded fibrin protofibrils had been constructed normally. Thus the impaired fibrin gel formation could be attributed to the delay in their subsequent lateral association, most probably because of the repulsive forces generated by the negative electric charge of the extra sialic acids. The substitution of a basic residue arginine to a noncharged residue serine may also have contributed to the impaired function in a similar manner or by steric hindrance in association with bulky extra oligosaccharide chains.
H Maekawa, K Yamazumi, S Muramatsu, M Kaneko, H Hirata, N Takahashi, C L Arocha-Piñango, S Rodriguez, H Nagy, J L Perez-Requejo