Characterization of the interaction between the Staphylococcus aureus clumping factor (ClfA) and fibrinogen

Damien Mcdevitt, Tamanna Nanavaty, Karen Housh-Pompeo, Ewen Bell, Nancy Turner, Larry Mcintire, Timothy Foster, Magnus Höök

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173 Scopus citations


The ability of Staphylococcus aureus to adhere to adsorbed fibrinogen and fibrin is believed to be an important step in the initiation of biomaterial and wound-associated infections. In this study, we show that the binding site in fibrinogen for the recently identified S. aureus fibrinogen- binding protein clumping factor (ClfA) is within the C terminus of the fibrinogen γ chain. S. aureus Newman cells expressing ClfA adhered to microtitre wells coated with recombinant fibrinogen purified from BHK cells, but did not adhere to wells coated with a purified recombinant fibrinogen variant where the 4 C-terminal residues of the chain were replaced by 20 unrelated residues. In addition, a synthetic peptide corresponding to the 17 C-terminal amine acids of the fibrinogen γ chain effectively inhibited adherence of ClfA-expressing cells to fibrinogen. In western ligand blots, a recombinant truncated ClfA protein called CIf33 (residues 221 -550) recognized intact recombinant fibrinogen γ chains, but failed to recognize recombinant fibrinogen γ chains where the 4 C-terminal amino acids were altered by deletion or substitution. Previous studies have shown that the C- terminal domain of fibrinogen γ chains contains a binding site for the integrin α(IIb)β3 (glycoprotein gpIIb/IIIa) receptor on platelets [Klozewiak, M., Timmons, S. Bednarek, M. A., Sakon, M. and Hawiger, J. (1989) Biochemistry 28, 2915-1919; Farrell, D. H., Thiagarajan, P., Chung, D. W. and Davie, E. W. (1992) Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 89. 10729-10732: Hettasch, J. M., Bolyard, M. G. and Lord. S. T. (1992) Thromb. Haemostasis 68, 701-706]. We now show that Clf33 inhibits ADP-induced, fibrinogen dependent platelet aggregation in a concentration-dependent manner and inhibits adhesion of platelets to immobilized fibrinogen under fluid shear stress, indicating that the binding sites for the platelet integrin and the staphylococcal adhesin overlap. The interaction between Clf33 and fibrinogen was further characterized using the BIAcore biosensor. When soluble Clf33 was allowed to bind to immobilized fibrinogen, a K(d) of 0.51 ±0.19 μM was experimentally determined using equilibrium binding data. It was also shown that the synthetic C-terminal γ-chain peptide effectively inhibited this interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-424
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


  • Clumping factor
  • Fibrinogen
  • Microbial surface components recognizing adhesive matrix molecules
  • Platelet integrin
  • Staphylococcus aureus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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