The binding of human factor XII and prekallikrein to vesicles of various compositions and the relationship to activation of factor XII were studied. Factor XII, factor XIIa, and the 40-kilodalton binding fragment of factor XII bound tightly to all of the negatively charged lipids investigated, including sulfatide, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylethanolamine, but not to the neutral lipid phosphatidylcholine. Binding could be reversed by high salt, and the dissociation constant for binding to sulfatide vesicles was in the nanomolar range at an ionic strength of 0.15 M. Prekallikrein did not bind significantly to either sulfatide or phosphatidylethanolamine vesicles under the conditions used. Stopped-flow studies showed that the association rate for the factor XII-sulfatide interaction was biphasic and very rapid; the faster rate corresponded to about 30% collisional efficiency. The kinetics of activation of factor XII was investigated and was in agreement with previous studies; sulfatide promoted activation but phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylethanolamine, and phosphatidylcholine did not. Autoactivation rates correlated closely with the packing density of factor XII and factor XIIa on the vesicle surface. In contrast, kallikrein activation of factor XII correlated with the amount of sulfatide-bound factor XII and was relatively insensitive to the density of factor XII on the vesicle surface. When the concentration of factor XII was reduced to only several molecules per vesicle, the autoactivation rate dropped very low whereas kallikrein activation held relatively constant. These results indicated that the autoactivation and the kallikrein activation of factor XII were dependent on different properties of the surface component.
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