* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received April 5, 2013; Revision received May 21, 2013
Ozone-induced oxidation of fibrinogen has been investigated. The conversion of oxidized fibrinogen to fibrin catalyzed either by thrombin or by a reptilase-like enzyme, ancistron, in both cases is accompanied by production of gels characterized by a higher weight/length ratio of fibrils in comparison with the native fibrin gels. IR spectra of the D and E fragments isolated from unoxidized and oxidized fibrinogen suggest a noticeable transformation of functional groups by oxidation. A decrease in content of N–H groups in the peptide backbone and in the number of C–H bonds in aromatic structures, as well as a decrease in the intensity of the C–H valence vibrations in aliphatic fragments CH2 and CH3 were found. The appearance in the differential spectra of the D fragments of rather intense peaks in the interval of 1200-800 cm–1 clearly indicates the interaction of ozone with amino acid residues of methionine, tryptophan, histidine, and phenylalanine. Comparison of the differential spectra for the D and E fragments suggests that fibrinogen fragment D is more sensitive to the oxidant action than fragment E. Using EPR spectroscopy, differences are found in the spectra of spin labels bound with degradation products of oxidized and unoxidized fibrinogen, the D and E fragments, caused by structural and dynamical modifications of the protein molecules in the areas of localization of the spin labels. The relationship between the molecular mechanism of oxidation of fibrinogen and its three-dimensional structure is discussed.
KEY WORDS: fibrinogen, fibrin, fragments D and E, oxidation, chemical transformation, structure