Published by Springer-Verlag on behalf of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies
European Journal of Biochemistry vol:169 issue:2 pages:359-64
Thrombin converts single-chain urokinase-type plasminogen activator (scu-PA) to an inactive two-chain derivative (thrombin-derived tcu-PA) by hydrolysis of the Arg-156--Phe-157 peptide bond. In the present study, we show that inactive thrombin-derived tcu-PA (specific activity 1000 IU/mg) can be converted with plasmin to active two-chain urokinase-type plasminogen activator (specific activity 43,000 IU/mg) by hydrolysis of the Lys-158--Ile-159 peptide bond. This conversion follows Michaelis-Menten kinetics with a Michaelis constant Km of 37 microM and a catalytic rate constant k2 of 0.013 s-1. The catalytic efficiency (k2/Km) for the activation of thrombin-derived tcu-PA by plasmin is about 500-fold lower than that for the conversion of intact scu-PA to tcu-PA. tcu-PA, generated by plasmin treatment of thrombin-derived tcu-PA, has similar properties to tcu-PA obtained by digestion of intact scu-PA with plasmin (plasmin-derived tcu-PA); its plasminogen activating potential and fibrinolytic activity in an in vitro plasma clot lysis system appear to be unaltered. These observations confirm that the structure of the NH2-terminal region of the B chain of u-PA is an important determinant for its enzymatic activity, whereas that of the COOH-terminal region of the A chain is not.