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Open Access Cloning of the Full-Length cDNA of Porcine Antithrombin III and Comparison with its Human Homolog

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The characterization of porcine antithrombin III (ATIII)—a highly powerful anticoagulant—is essential for using porcine liver in xenotransplantation applications. The objective of this study was to clarify the functions of porcine ATIII through comparison with human ATIII. We cloned porcine ATIII and compared its important functional sites with those of human ATIII. The full-length cDNA of porcine ATIII was cloned by screening a porcine liver cDNA library, and the ATIII activities of 23 pigs were determined. The full-length cDNA of porcine ATIII spanned 1498 bp and encoded 463 amino acids. Porcine ATIII shared 87.67% nucleotide identity and 89.06% amino acid identity with human ATIII. Complete identity was found at active center Arg393–Ser394, and remarkably high similarities were found at 2 critical heparin-binding sites (residues 41 through 49 and 114 through 156) and in some key residues involved in heparin binding. An ATIII assay found no significant difference between porcine and human plasma. The high level of similarity between porcine ATIII and human ATIII suggests that porcine ATIII will function in a manner similar to human ATIII in xenotransplantation.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Key Laboratory of Transplant Engineering and Immunology, Ministry of Health, Sichuan University, China 2: Pathology Department of West China Hospital, Sichuan University, China 3: Key Laboratory of Transplant Engineering and Immunology, Ministry of Health, Sichuan University, China. [email protected] 4: Key Laboratory of Transplant Engineering and Immunology, Ministry of Health, Sichuan University, China. [email protected]

Publication date: 2009-08-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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