Autoantibody Epitope Mapping By Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange Mass Spectrometry at Nearly Single Amino Acid Residue Resolution Reveals Novel Exosites on ADAMTS13 Critical for Substrate Recognition and Mechanism of Autoimmune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Veronica C. Casina, Wenbing Hu, Hayley A. Hanby, Brandy Pickens, Leland Mayne, Eric Ostertag, Stephen Kacir, Don L. Siegel, S. Walter Englander and X. Long Zheng


Acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), a potentially fatal arterial thrombotic disorder, is primarily caused by autoantibodies that bind and inhibit plasma von Willebrand factor (VWF)-cleaving metalloprotease (ADAMTS13) activity. However, the mechanisms underlying autoantibody-mediated inhibition of ADAMTS13 activity and acquired TTP are not fully understood. By a hydrogen-deuterium exchange coupled with mass spectrometry (HX-MS) technique, we found that human monoclonal anti-ADAMTS13 antibodies, the single chain variable region fragments (scFvs)4-20, 4-16, and 3-1 that were, isolated by phage display from two patients with acquired TTP, predominantly bound to a discontinuous and conformational epitope in the spacer domain of ADAMTS13 with a subtle difference. The epitope for scFvs4-20 and 4-16 comprises five small flexible loops, including a previously described motif A (or exosite 3, R659-E664), motif B (exosite 4, L632-R639), and several other outlying residues (F592, Y658, and Y665), while scFv3-1 bound all other residues except for those in motif A. Site-directed mutagenesis and biochemical analysis demonstrated that both motifs A and B were found to be critical for recognition and proteolysis of VWF73 and multimeric VWF. Deletion of motif A or motif B in full-length ADAMTS13 abolished the binding of scFvs4-20 and 4-16 but not 3-1 (which did not bind motif A). Our findings demonstrate the powerful use of HX-MS for mapping antibody epitopes at nearly single amino acid resolution. This provides a new way to reveal mechanisms of autoantibody-mediated inhibition of plasma ADAMTS13 activity and acquired TTP.

Disclosures No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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