* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received March 3, 2008; Revision received April 9, 2008
The mechanism of self-assembly of fibrin monomers and fibrinogen aggregation during ozone oxidation has been studied by the methods of elastic and dynamic light-scattering and viscosimetry. Fibrin obtained from oxidized fibrinogen exhibits higher average fiber mass/length ratio compared with native fibrin. Fibrinogen ozonation sharply reduced the latent period preceding aggregation of protein molecules; however, the mechanism of self-assembly of ozonated and non-ozonated fibrinogen cluster was identical. In both cases flexible polymers are formed and reaching a certain critical length they form densely packed structures and aggregate. Using infrared spectroscopy, it has been shown that free radical oxidation of amino acid residues of fibrinogen polypeptide chains catalyzed by ozone results in formation of carbonyl, hydroxyl, and ether groups. It is concluded that fibrinogen peripheral D-domains are the most sensitive to ozonation, which causes local conformational changes in them. On one hand, these changes inhibit the reaction of longitudinal polymerization of monomeric fibrin molecules; on the other hand, they expose reaction centers responsible for self-assembly of fibrinogen clusters.
KEY WORDS: fibrinogen, fibrin, self-assembly, oxidation, structure