Fibrinogen Ledyard was discovered in a 10-year-old boy with a mild bleeding history. His father had the same defect and a bleeding history after surgery. Both patients were heterozygous. The plasma fibrinogen concentration was normal immunologically (335 mg/dL) and very low functionally (52 mg/dL). Purified fibrinogen Ledyard had a prolonged polymerization, which was somewhat corrected by addition of Ca2+ ions. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analyses of the fibrinopeptides released by thrombin showed 1 mol of fibrinopeptide A (FPA) and 2 mol of fibrinopeptide B (FPB) released per mole of fibrinogen Ledyard. Steady-state kinetic parameters were evaluated for release of FPA by thrombin. When the concentration of fibrinogen Ledyard was corrected to 50% of total protein, because only 50% of fibrinogen Ledyard can release FPA, the kinetic constants were similar to those of control fibrinogen (Km = 7.5 mumol/L for A alpha chain, kcat = 54 s-1). This finding indicates that the cleavage site of the A alpha chain in these abnormal molecules may not interact with the catalytic site of thrombin. The three chains of fibrinogen Ledyard were isolated on reverse-phase C4-HPLC. The sequence of the amino terminus of A alpha chain showed that Arg in position 16 was replaced by Cys in the abnormal molecules. Approximately half of fibrinogen Ledyard (52%) was clotted by reptilase, suggesting that fibrinogen Ledyard may consist of 50% normal homodimers (A alpha Arg16 . A alpha Arg16) and 50% abnormal homodimers (A alpha Cys16 . A alpha Cys16). Abnormal molecules could form disulfide bond between the A alpha Cys16 residues. Thus, the abnormal molecules have a different structure that does not bind to thrombin. Probably the abnormality of polymerization of fibrinogen Ledyard results from the interaction of the abnormal molecules with normal fibrin monomers, so that the growth of fibrin protofibrils is inhibited. This abnormal fibrinogen supports adenosine diphosphate-induced platelet aggregation in a normal manner.