Prothrombin is a binding partner of the human receptor of advanced glycation end products

G. Degani, A. Altomare, S. Digiovanni, B. Arosio, G. Fritz, A. Raucci, G. Aldini, L. Popolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) plays a key role in mammal physiology and in the etiology and progression of inflammatory and oxidative stress-based diseases. In adults, RAGE expression is normally high only in the lung where the protein concentrates in the basal membrane of alveolar Type I epithelial cells. In diseases, RAGE levels increase in the affected tissues and sustain chronic inflammation. RAGE exists as a membrane glycoprotein with an ectodomain, a transmembrane helix, and a short carboxyl-terminal tail, or as a soluble ectodomain that acts as a decoy receptor (sRAGE). VC1 domain is responsible for binding to the majority of RAGE ligands including advanced glycation end products (AGEs), S100 proteins, and HMGB1. To ascertain whether other ligands exist, we analyzed by MS the material pulled down by VC1 from human plasma. Twenty of 295 identified proteins were selected and associated to coagulation and complement processes and to extracellular matrix. Four of them contained a g-carboxyl glutamic acid (Gla) domain, a calcium-binding module, and prothrombin (PT) was the most abundant. Using MicroScale thermophoresis, we quantified the interaction of PT with VC1 and sRAGE in the absence or presence of calcium that acted as a competitor. PT devoid of the Gla domain (PT des-Gla) did not bind to sRAGE, providing further evidence that the Gla domain is critical for the interaction. Finally, the presence of VC1 delayed plasma clotting in a dose-dependent manner. We propose that RAGE is involved in modulating blood coagulation presumably in conditions of lung injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12498-12511
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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