Tissue factor (TF), the cell surface receptor and cofactor for factor VIIa (FVIIa), is considered the major physiologic trigger of the coagulation cascade. Most monoclonal antibodies to TF have been reported to inhibit TF activity by blocking association of FVII(a) with TF. Using solution-phase kinetic analyses, we have reexamined two strongly inhibitory anti-TF monoclonal antibodies (TF8–11D12 and TF9–9C3) previously reported to block FVII binding in cell-binding assays. Kinetic analysis of TF9–9C3 was consistent with direct competition with FVIIa for binding to TF. However, antibody TF8–11D12 did not block FVIIa binding to TF as measured by ability of the TF:FVIIa complex to cleave a small peptide substrate or by enhanced reactivity of FVIIa with a tripeptidyl-chloromethylketone. Interestingly, TF8–11D12 strongly inhibited cleavage of all three known macromolecular substrates (factors VII, IX, and X) of the TF:FVIIa complex. We hypothesize that TF8–11D12 blocks access of macromolecular substrates to the active site of FVIIa by steric hindrance. This study identifies a useful probe for TF function and provides insights into the inhibitory mechanism of an unusual class of antibody proposed for therapeutic intervention in thrombotic disease.

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