Purification and characterization of ecamulin - a prothrombin activator from the venom of many-scaled viper Echis multisquamatus

D. A. Solov'ev, T. N. Platonova, T. P. Ugarova

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4 Scopus citations


Ecamulin, a novel prothrombin activating enzyme, has been isolated and purified 63-fold with a 57% yield from the venom of the Middle-Asian sand viper Echis multisquamatus using three-step ion-exchange chromatography. The enzyme was shown to activate prothrombin similarly to Ecarin, a prothrombin-converting enzyme from Echis carinatus venom, however, differing from the latter by structural and physico-chemical properties. The enzyme is a Zn-proteinase: it contains 1 mol Zn per 1 mol of protein. The molecular mass of the enzyme as determined by Sephacryl S-200 chromatography is 93±2 kDa. Upon SDS-PAAG electrophoresis ecamulin produces two bands with Mr of 67 and 27 kDa under non-reducing conditions, and three bands with Mr of 67, 14 and 13 kDa in the presence of DTT. During native PAGE without SDS, the activator yields one slow mobility band: two bands are observed after addition of DTT or EDTA. Carbohydrates containing N-acetyl-α-D-glucosamine residues are localized in the 67 kDa chain. Ecamulin has two isoforms, S2 and S3, that are distinguished by the charge and partial coagulation activities: form S2 has 250 NIH units/mg, while the S3 form has 524 NIH units/mg. The amino acid sequences of the both isoforms are similar but the more active S3 form has a 4 times higher content of Gln and 4 times less of Gly than the S2 form. The isoelectric point is 4.3-4.5; E280 of 1% solution is 10.2. Forms S2 and S3 of ecamulin hydrolyze chromogenic substrates of plasma kallikrein S2302 and glandular kallikrein 2266. Ecamulin does not hydrolyze BAEE, TAME, LEE, thrombin substrates Chromozym TH and S2160, factor Xa-S2222, protein Ca-Chromozym PCa and Plasmin S2251. The amidase activity is irreversibly inhibited by EDTA, o-phenanthroline (the activity is recovered by addition of Zn2+), Cys or DTT. EGTA, DFP, PMSF or pCMB do not inhibit the enzyme activity. Ecamulin converts prothrombin to α-thrombin passing by a shunt via the meizothrombin stage. The reaction of prothrombin activation does not require Ca2+, phospholipids of factor Va. Part of this work was presented at the International Conference 'Fibrinogen and fibrinolysis', Yalta, September, 23-28, 1995.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1094-1105
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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