14. Complex formation with nucleic acids and aptamers alters antigenic properties of platelet factor 4
Jaax, M.E.; Krauel, K.; Marschall, T.; Brandt, S.; Gansler, J.; Fürll, B.; Appel, B.; Fischer, S.; Block, S.; Helm, C.A.; Müller, S.; Preissner, K.T.; Greinacher, A.* – 2013
The tight electrostatic binding of the chemokine platelet factor 4 (PF4) to polyanions induces heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, a prothrombotic adverse drug reaction caused by immunoglobulin G directed against PF4/polyanion complexes. This study demonstrates that nucleic acids, including aptamers, also bind to PF4 and enhance PF4 binding to platelets. Systematic assessment of RNA and DNA constructs, as well as 4 aptamers of different lengths and secondary structures, revealed that increasing length and double-stranded segments of nucleic acids augment complex formation with PF4, while single nucleotides or single-stranded polyA or polyC constructs do not. Aptamers were shown by circular dichroism spectroscopy to induce structural changes in PF4 that resemble those induced by heparin. Moreover, heparin-induced anti-human–PF4/heparin antibodies cross-reacted with human PF4/nucleic acid and PF4/aptamer complexes, as shown by an enzyme immunoassay and a functional platelet activation assay. Finally, administration of PF4/44mer–DNA protein C aptamer complexes in mice induced anti–PF4/aptamer antibodies, which cross-reacted with murine PF4/heparin complexes. These data indicate that the formation of anti-PF4/heparin antibodies in postoperative patients may be augmented by PF4/nucleic acid complexes. Moreover, administration of therapeutic aptamers has the potential to induce anti-PF4/polyanion antibodies and a prothrombotic diathesis.